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^oalifi bp |). D. Cj)oreatt. 

WALDEN ; or, Life in the Woods, izmo, gilt top, $1.50. 

ERS. 1 2mo, gilt top, $1.50. 

graphical Sketch by R. W. Emerson. i2mo, gilt top, 

THE MAINE WOODS. lamo, gilt top, $1.50. 
CAPE COD. i2mo, gilt top, 51.50. 

LETTERS TO VARIOUS PERSONS, to which are added 

a few Poems. i2mo, gilt top, $1.50. 
A YANKEE IN CANADA. With Antislavery and Reform 

Papers. i2mo, gilt top, $1.50. 

nal of Henry D. Thoreau. j2mo, gilt top, $1.50. 

SUMMER. Selections descriptive of Summer from the Jour- 
nal of He.s'ry D. Thoreau. i2mo, gilt top, $1.50. 

WINTER. Selections from the Journal of Henry D. Tho- 
reau. i2mo, gilt top, $1.50. 

The above ten volumes, $15. 00 ; half calf, $27.50. 


Boston and New York. 





"WALDBN," "excursions," ETC., ETC. 











Entered according to Act of Congresi", in the year 1864, by 


in tlie Clerli'8 OfBce of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 









I. Trees. ... ,807 

II. Flowers and Shrubs ..... 308 

in. List op Plants 818 

IV. List of Birds .... .821 

Y. Quadrupeds 821 

VI. Outfit for an Excxmsiow . . . . S2S 

Vn. A List of Indiak Words . • • • 824 


The first of tlic papers folk wing was pub- 
lished in "The Union Magazine," (New York,) 
in 1848 ; the second, " Chesuncook," came out 
in the "Atlantic Monthly," in 1858; and the 
last is now for the first time printed. 



On the 31st of August, 1846, 1 left Concord in Maa- 
Bachusetts for Bangor and the backwoods of Maine, by 
way of the railroad and steamboat, intending to accom- 
pany a relative of mine engaged in the lumber-trade 
in Bangor, as far as a dam on the west branch of the 
Penobscot, in which property he was interested. From 
this place, which is about one hundred miles by the 
river above Bangor, thirty miles from the Houlton mili- 
tary road, and five miles beyond the last log-hut, I pro- 
posed to make excui'sions to Mount Ktaadn, the second 
highest mountain in New England, about thirty miles 
distant, and to some of the lakes of the Penobscot, either 
alone or with such company as I might pick up there. 
It is unusual to find a camp so far in the woods at that 
Beason, when lumbering operations have ceased, and I 
was glad to avail myself of the circumstance of a gang 
of men being employed there at that time in repairing 
the injuries caused by the great freshet in the spring. 
The mountain may be approached more easily and di- 
rectly on horseback and on foot from the northeast side, 
by the Aroostook road, and the Wassataquoik River ; but 
in that case you see much less of the wilderness, none of 

1 A 


the glorious river and lake scenery, and have no experi- 
ence of the batteau and the boatman's life. I was fortu- 
nate also in the season of the year, for in the summer 
myriads of black flies, mosquitoes, and midges, or, as 
the Indians call them, " no-see-ems," make travelling in 
the woods almost impossible ; but now their reign vraA 
nejirly over. 

Ktaadn, whose name is an Indian word signifying 
highest land, was first ascended by white men in 1804 
It was visited by Professor J. W. Bailey of West Point 
in 1836 ; by Dr. Charles T. Jackson, the State Geolo- 
gist, in 1837 ; and by two young men from Boston in 
1845. All these have given accounts of their expedi- 
tions. Since I was there, two or three other parties 
have made the excursion, and told their stories. Besides 
these, very few, even among backwoodsmen and hunters, 
have ever climbed it, and it will be a long time before 
the tide of fashionable travel sets that way. The moun- 
tainous region of the State of Maine stretches from near 
the White Mountains, northeasterly one hundi-ed and 
sixty miles, to the head of the Aroostook River, and is 
about sixty miles wide. The wild or unsettled portion 
is far more extensive. So that some hours only of travel 
in this direction will carry the curious to the verge of 
a primitive forest, more interesting, perhaps, on all ac- 
counts, than they would reach by going a thousand milea 

T^' /ext forenoon, Tuesday, September 1st, I started 
with my companion in a buggy from Bangor for " up 
river," expecting to be overtaken the next day night at 
Mattawamkeag Point, some sixty miles off, by two mor« 
Bangoreans, who had decided to join us in a trip to the 
mountain. Wo had each a knapsack or bag filled witk 


Bucb clothing and artirles as were indispensable, and my 
companion carried his gun. 

Within a dozen miles of Bangor we passed through 
the villages of Stillwater and Oldtown, built at the falls 
of the Penobscot, which furnish the principal pcvcr by 
which the Maine woods are converted into lumber. The 
mills are built directly over and across the river. Here 
is a close jam, a hard rub, at all seasons ; and then the 
once green tree, long since white, I need not say as 
the driven snow, but as a driven log, becomes lumber 
merely. Here your inch, your two and your three inch 
stuff begin to be, and Mr. Sawyer marks off those spaces 
which decide the destiny of so many prostrate forests. 
Through this steel riddle, more or less coarse, is the 
arrowy Maine forest, from Ktaadn and Chesuncook, and 
the head-waters of the St. John, relentlessly sifted, till it 
comes out boards, clapboards, laths, and shingles such 
as the wind can take, still perchance to be slit and slit 
again, till men get a size that will suit. Think how stood 
the white-pine tree on the shore of Chesuncook, its 
branches soughing with the four winds, and every indi- 
vidual needle trembling in the sunlight, — think how it 
stands with it now, — sold, perchance, to the New Eng- 
land Friction-Match Company ! There were in 1837, 
as I read, two hundred and fifty saw-mills on the Penob- 
scot and its tributaries above Bangor, the greater part of 
them in this immediate neighborhood, and they sawed 
two hundred millions of feet of boards annually. To 
this is to be added the lumber of the Kennebec, Andros- 
coggin, Saco, Passamaquoddy, and other streams. No 
wonder that we hear so often of vessels which are be- 
'Almed off our coast, being surrounded a week at a time 
by floating lumber from the Maine woods. The mission 


of men there seems to be, like so many busy demons, ts 
drive the forest all out of the country, from every soli- 
tary beaver-swamp and mountain-side, as soon as pes* 

At Oldtown we walked into a batte£.u-manufactory. 
The making of batteaux is quite a business here for the 
Bupply of the Penobscot River. We examined some on 
the stocks. They are light and shapely vessels, calcu- 
lated for rapid and rocky streams, and to be carried over 
long portages on men's shoulders, from twenty to thirty 
feet long, and only four or four and a half wide, sharp 
at both ends like a canoe, though broadest forward 
on the bottom, and reaching seven or eight feet over the 
water, in order that they may slip over rocks as gently 
as possible. They are made very slight, only two boards 
to a side, commonly secured to a few light maple or 
other hard-wood knees, but inward are of the clearest 
and widest white-pine stuff, of which there is a great 
waste on account of their form, for the bottom is left per- 
fectly flat, not only from side to side, but from end to 
end. Sometimes they become "hogging" even, after 
long use, and the boatmen then turn them over and 
straighten them by a weight at each end. They told us 
that one wore out in two years, or often in a single trip, 
on the rocks, and sold for from fourteen to sixteen dol- 
lars. There was something refreshing and wildly musi- 
cal to my ears in the very name of the white man's 
canoe, reminding me of Charlevoix and Canadian Voya- 
geurs. The batteau is a sort of mongrel between the 
canoe and the boat, a fur-trader's boat. 

The ferry here took us past the Indian island. As 
tve left the shore, I observed a short, shabby, washer 
woman-looking Indian — they commonly ha^'e the wo© 


begone look of the girl that cried for spilt milk — jast 
from " up river " — land on the Oldtown side near a gro- 
eery, and, drawing up his canoe, take out a bundle of 
skins in one hand, and an empty keg or half-barrel in 
the other, and srramble up the bank with them. This 
picture will do to put before the Indian's history, that is, 
the history of his extinction. In 1837 there were Ihreo 
hundred and sixty-two souls left of this tribe. The 
island seemed deserted to-day, yet I observed some new 
houses among the weather-stained ones, as if the tribe 
had still a design upon life ; but generally they have a 
very shabby, forlorn, and cheerless look, being all back 
side and woodshed, not homesteads, even Indian home- 
steads, but instead of home or abroad-steads, for their life 
is domi out militice, at home or at war, or now rather 
venatus, that is, a hunting, and most of the latter. The 
church is the only trim-looking building, but that is not 
Abenaki, that was Rome's doings. Good Canadian it 
may be, but it is poor Indian. These were once a pow- 
erful tribe. Politics are all the rage with them now. I 
even thought that a row of wigwams, with a dance of 
powwows, and a prisoner tortured at the stake, would 
be more respectable than this. 

We landed in Milford, and rode along on the east side 
of the Penobscot, having a more or less constant view 
of the river, and the Indian islands in it, for they retain 
all the islands as far up as Nickatow, at the mouth of the 
East Branch. They are generally well-timbered, and 
are said to be better soil than the neighboring shores. 
The river seemed shallow and rocky, and interrupted by 
rapids, rippling and gleaming in the sun. We paused a 
moment to see a fish-hawk dive for a fish down straight 
us an arrow, from a great height, but he missed his prey 


this time. It was the Houlton road on which we were 
DOW travelling, over which some troops were marched 
once towards Mars' Hill, though not to 'liars' Jield, as it 
proved. It is the main, almost the only, road in these 
parts, as straight and well made, and kept in as good re- 
pair, as almost any you will find anywhere. Everywhere 
we saw signs of the great freshet, — this house standing 
awry, and that where it was not founded, but where it 
was found, at any rate, the next day ; and that other with 
a water-logged look, as if it were still airing and drying 
its basement, and logs with everybody's marks upon 
them, and sometimes the marks of tiieir having served 
as bridges, strewn along the road. We crossed the Sunk- 
haze, a summery Indian name, the Olemmon, Passadum- 
keag, and other streams, which make a greater show on 
the map than they now did on the road. At Passadum- 
keag we found anything but what the name implies, — 
earnest pohticians, to wit, — white ones, I mean, — on the 
alert, to know how the election was likely to go ; men 
who talked rapidly, with subdued voice, and a sort of 
factitious earnestness, you could not help believing, hard- 
ly waiting for an introduction, one on each side of your 
buggy, endeavoring to say much in little, for they see 
you hold the whip impatiently, but always saying little 
in much. Caucuses they have had, it seems, and cau- 
cuses they are to have again, — victory and defeat. 
Somebody may be elected, somebody may not. One 
man, a total stranger, who stood by our carnage in the 
dusk, actually frightened the horse with his asseverations, 
growing more solemnly positive as there was less in him 
to be positive about. So Passadumkeag did not look on 
the map. At sundown, leaving the river-road awhile 
«br shortness, we went by way of Enfield, where w« 


stepped for the night. This, like most of the localities 
bearing names on this road, was a place to name, which, 
in the midst of the unnamed and unincorporated wilder- 
ness, was to make a distinctio.i without a difference, it 
seemed to me. Here, however, I noticed quite an or- 
chard of healthy and well-grown apple-trees, in a bear- 
ing state, it being the oldest settler's house in this region, 
but all natural fruit, and comparatively worthless for 
want of a grafter. And so it is generally, lower down 
tlie river. It would be a good speculation, as well as 
a favor conferred on the settlers, for a Massachusetts 
boy to go down there with a trunk full of choice scions, 
and his grafting apparatus, in the spring. 

The next morning we drove along through a high and 
hiUy country, in view of Cold-Stream Pond, a beautiful 
lake four or five miles long, and came into the Houlton 
road again, here called the military road, at Lincoln, 
forty-five miles from Bangor, where there is quite a vil- 
lage for this country, — the principal one above Old- 
town. Learning that there were several wigwams here, 
on one of the Indian islands, we left our horse and wagon, 
and walked through the forest half a mile to the river, 
to procure a guide to the mountain. It was not till 
after considerable search that we discovered their habi- 
tations, — small huts, in a retired place, where the 
scenery was unusually soft and beautiful, and the shore 
skirted with pleasant meadows and graceful elms. We 
paddled ourselves across to the island-side in a canoe, 
which we found on the shore. Near where we landed 
Bat an Indian girl ten or twelve years old, on a rock iu 
the water, in the sun, washing, and humming or moan- 
ing a song meanwhile. It was an aboriginal 5 train. A 
salmon-spear, made wholly of wood, lay on the shoie, 


lueh as they might have used before white men camei 
It had an elastic piece of wood fastened to one side of 
its point, which slipped over and closed upon the fish, 
somewhat like the contrivance for holding a bucket at 
the end of a well-pole. As we walked up to the near- 
est house, we were met by a sally of a dozen wolfish- 
looking dogs, which may have been lineal descendants 
from the ancient Indian dogs, which the first voyageurs 
describe as " their wolves." I suppose they were. The 
occupant soon appeared, with a long pole in his hand, 
with which he beat off the dogs, while he parleyed with 
us. A stalwart, but dull and greasy-looking fellow, who 
told us, in his sluggish way, in answer to our questions, 
as if it were the first serious business he had to do that 
day, that there were Indians going " up river " — he and 
one other — to-day, before noon. And who was the 
other? Louis Neptune, who lives in the next house. 
v]^ -J "Well, let us go over and see Louis together. The same 

y \a;)5^ doggish reception, and Louis Neptune makes his appear- 

^ ^- 9, ance, — a small, wiry man, with puckered and wrinkled 

face, yet he seemed the chief man of the two ; the same, 
as I remembered, who had accompanied Jackson to the 
mountain in '37. The same questions were put to Louis, 
and the same information obtained, while the other In- 
dian stood by. It appeared that they were going to 
start by noon, with two canoes, to go up to Chesuncook 
to hunt moose, — to be gone a month. "Well, Loui?, 
suppose you get to the Point [to the Five Islands, just 
below Mattawamkeag], to camp, we walk on up the 
West Branch to-morrow, — four of us, — and wait for 
you at the dam, or this side. You overtake us to-mor- 
row or next day, and take us into your canoes. We 
stop for you, you stop for us. We pay you for your 

. r_ 


trouble." " Ye ! " replied Louis, " may be you carry 
Bome provision for all, — some pork, — some bread, — 
and so pay." He said, " Me sure get some moose " ; 
and when I asked if he thought Pomola would let us 
go up, he answered that we must plant one bottle of 
rum on the top ; he had planted good many ; and when 
he looked again, the rum was all gone. He had been 
up two or three times : he had planted letter, — Eng- 
lish, German, French, &c. These men were slightly 
clad in shirt and pantaloons, like laborers with us in 
warm weather. They did not invite us into their houses, 
but met us outside. So we left the Indians, thinking 
ourselves lucky to have secured such guides and com- 

There were very few houses along the road, yet they 
did not altogether fail, as if the law by which men are 
dispersed over the globe were a very stringent one, and 
not to be resisted with impunity or for slight reasons. 
There were even the germs of one or two villages just 
beginning to expand. The beauty of the road itself was 
remarkable. The various evergreens, many of Avhich 
are rare with us, — delicate and beautiful specimens of 
the larch, arbor-vitas, ball-spruce, and fir-balsam, from a 
few inches to many feet in height, — lined its sides, in 
some places like a long, front yard, springing up from the 
smooth grass-plots which uninterruptedly border it, and 
are made fertile by its wash ; while it was but a step 
)n either hand to the grim, untrodden wilderness, whose 
tangled labyrinth of living, fallen, and decaying trees 
only the deer and moose, the bear and wolf, can easily 
penetrate. More perfect specimens than any front-yard 
plot can show, grew there to grace the passage of the 
Houlton teams. 


About noon we reached the Mattawamkeag, fifty-six 
miles from Bangor by the way we had come, and put up 
at a frequented house still on the Houlton road, where 
the Houlton stage stops. Here was a substantial cov- 
ered bridge over the Mattawamkeag, built, I think they 
said, some seventeen years before. We had dinner,—- 
where, by the way, and even at breakfast, as well aa 
supper, at the public-houses on this road, the front 
rank is composed of various kinds of " sweet cakes," in 
a continuous line from one end of the table to the other. 
I think I may safely say that there was a row of ten 
or a dozen plates of this kind set before us two here. 
To account for which, they say that, when the lumberers 
come out of the woods, they have a craving for cakes 
and pies, and such sweet things, which there are almost 
unknown, and this is the supply to satisfy that demand. 
The supply is always equal to the demand, and these 
hungry men think a good deal of getting their money^a 
worth. No doubt the balance of victuals is restored 
by the time they reach Bangor, — Mattawamkeag takes 
off the raw edge. Well, over this front rank, I say, 
you, coming from the " sweet cake " side, with a cheap 
philosophic indifference though it may be, have to as- 
sault what there is behind, which I do not by any means 
mean to insinuate is insufficient in quantity or quality to 
supply that other demand, of men, not from the woods, 
but from the towns, for venison and strong country fare. 
After dinner we strolled down to the " Point," formed 
by the junction of the two rivers, which is said to be 
the scene of an ancient battle between the Eastern In- 
dians and the Mohawks, and searched there caiefully 
for relics, though the men at tlie bar-room had nevet 
heard of such things; but we found only some flakef 


of arrow-head stone, some points of arrow-heads, \)ne 
small leaden bullet, and some colored beads, the last to 
be referred, perhaps, to early fur-trader days. The Mat- 
tawamke?g, though wide, was a mere river's bed, full 
of rocks and shallows at this time, so that you could 
cross it almost dry-shod in boots; and I could hardly 
believe my companion, when he told me that he had 
been fifty or sixty miles up it in a batteau, through 
distant and still uncut forests. A batteau could hardly 
find a harbor now at its mouth. Deer and carribou, or 
reindeer, are taken here in the winter, in sight of the 

Before our companions arrived, we rode on up the 
Houlton road seven miles, to Molunkus, where the 
Aroostook road comes into it, and where there is a spa- 
cious public house in the woods, called the " Molunkus 
House," kept by one Libbey, which looked as if it had 
its hall for dancing and for military drills. There was 
no other evidence of man but this huge shingle palace 
in this part of the world ; but sometimes even this is 
filled with travellers. I looked off the piazza round the 
corner of the house up the Aroostook road, on which 
there was no clearing in sight. There was a man just 
adventuring upon it this evening in a rude, original, 
what you may call Aroostook wagon, — a mere seat, 
with a wagon swung under it, a few bags on it, and a 
dog asleep to watch them. He offered to carry a mes- 
sage for us to anybody in that country, cheerfully. I 
suspect that, if you should go to the end of the world, 
you would find somebody there going farther, as if just 
starting for home at sundown, and having a last word 
before he drove off. Here, too, was a small trader, 
whom I did not see at first, who kept a store — but n« 


great store, ceilainly — in a small box ovir the way 
behind the Molunkus sign-post. It looked like the 
balance-box of a patent hay-scales. As for his hou^^e, 
we could only conjecture where that was ; he may ha\ e 
been a boarder in the Molunkus House. I saw hiuo 
standing in his shop-door, — his shop was so small, thut, 
if a traveller should make demonstrations of entering 
in, he would have to go out by the back way, and conler 
with his customer through a window, about his goods 
in the cellar, or, more probably, bespoken, and yet on 
the way. I should have gone in, for I felt a real im- 
pulse to trade, if I had not stopped to consider what 
would become of him. The day before, we had walked 
into a shop, over against an inn where we stopped, the 
puny beginning of trade, which would grow at last into 
a firm copartnership in the future town or city, — indeed, 
it was already " Somebody & Co.," I forget who. The 
woman came forward from the penetralia of the at- 
tached house, for " Somebody & Co." was in the burning, 
and she sold us percussion-caps, canales and smooth, 
and knew their prices and qualities, and which the hunt- 
ers preferred. Here was a little of everything in a 
small compass to satisfy the wants and the ambition of 
the woods, — a stock selected with what pains and care, 
and brought home in the wagon-box, or a corner of the 
Houlton team ; but there seemed to me, as usual, a pre- 
ponderance of children's toys, — dogs to bark, and cats to 
mew, and trumpets to blow, where natives there haidly 
are yet. As if a child, born into the Maine woods, among 
the pine-cones and cedar-berries, could not do without 
Buch a sugar-man, or skipping-jack, as the young Roths- 
child has. 

] think that there was not more than one bouse on 


ihc road to Molunkus, or for seven miles. At that ]jlac« 
we got over the fence into a new field, planted with 
potatoes, where the logs were still burning between the 
hills ; and, pulling up the vines, found good-sized pota- 
toes, nearly ripe, growing like weeds, and turnips mixed 
with them. The mode of clearing and planting is, to 
fell the trees, and burn once what wiU burn, then cut 
them up into suitable lengths, roll into heaps, and burn 
again ; then, with a hoe, plant potatoes Avhere you can 
come at the ground between the stumps and charred 
logs ; for a first crop the ashes sufficing for manure, and 
no hoeing being necessary the first year. In the fall, 
cut, roll, and burn again, and so on, till the land is 
cleared ; and soon it is ready for grain, and to be laid 
down. Let those talk of poverty and hard limes who 
will in the towns and cities ; cannot the emigrant who 
Call pay his fare to New York or Boston pay five dol- 
h.i's more to get here, — I paid three, all told, for my 
passage from Boston to Bangor, two hundred and fifty 
miles, — and be as rich as he pleases, where land vir- 
tually costs nothing, and houses only the labor of build- 
ing, and he may begin life as Adam did ? If he will 
still remember the distinction of poor and rich, let him 
bespeak him a narrower house forthwith. 

When we returned to the Mattawamkeag, the Houltou 
stage had already put up there ; and a Province man 
was betraying his greenness to the Yankees by his ques- 
tions. Why Province money won't pass here at par, 
when States' money is good Jxt Frederickton, — though 
this, perhaps, was sensible enough, From what I saw 
then, it appears that the Province man was now the 
only real Jonathan, or raw country bumpkin, left so far 
behind by his enterprising, neighbors that he did n't know 

14 Tire mainp: woods. 

enough to put a question to them. No people can long 
continue provincial in character who have the propensity 
for politics and whittling, and rapid travelling, which the 
Yankees have, and who are leaving the mother country 
behind in the variety of their notions and inventions. 
The possession and exercise of practical talent merely 
are a sure and rapid means of intellectual culture and 

- The last edition of Greenleaf's Map of Maine hung 
on the wall here, and, as we had no pocket-map, we re- 
solved to trace a map of the lake country. So, dipping 
.1 wad of tow into the lamp, we oiled a sheet of paper 
on the oiled "table-cloth, and, in good faith, traced what 
we afterwards ascertained to be a labyrinth of errors, 
carefully following the outlines of the imaginary lakes 
which tlie map contains. The Map of the Public Lands 
of Maine and Massachusetts is tlie only one 1 have seen 
that at all deserves the name. It was while we were 
engaged in this operation that our companions arrived. 
They had seen the Indians' fire on the Five Islands, and 
60 we concluded that all was right. 

Early the next morning we had mounted our packs, 
and prepared for a tramp up the West Branch, my com- 
panion having turned his horse out to pasture for a week 
or ten days, thinking that a bite of fresh grass, and a 
taste of running water, would do him as much good as 
backwoods fare and new country influences his master. 
Leaping over a fence, we began to follow an obscure 
trail up the northern bank of the Penobscot. There 
was now no road further, the river being the only high- 
way, and but half a dozen log-huts confined to its banks, 
to be met with for thirty miles. On either hand, and 
beyond, vpf a wholly uninhabited vvildern<;s?, stretchiiy 


to Canada. Neither horse nor cow, nor vehicle of any 
kind, had ever passed over this ground ; the cattle, and 
the few bulky articles which the loggers uiie, being got 
up in the winter on the ice, and down again before it 
breaks up. The evergreen woods had a decidedly sweet 
and bracing fragrance ; the air was a sort of diet-drink, 
and we walked on buoyantly in Indian file, stretching 
our legs. Occasionally there was a small opening on 
the bank, made for the purpose of log-rolling, where we 
got a sight of the river, — always a rocky and rippling 
stream. The roar of the rapids, the note of a whistler- 
duck on the river, of the jay and chickadee around us, 
and of the pigeon-woodpecker in the openings, were the 
sounds that we heard. Tliis was what you might call 
a bran-new country ; the only roads were of Nature's 
making, and the few houses were camps. Here, then, 
one could no longer accuse institutions and society, but 
must front the true source of evil. 

There are three classes of inhaoitants who either fre- 
quent or inhabit the country which we had now entered;— 
first, the loggers, who, for a part of the year, the wintei 
and spring, are far the most numerous, but in the sum- 
mer, except a few explorers for timber, completely desert 
it ; second, the few settlers I have named, the only per- 
manent inhabitants, who live on the verge of it, and help 
raise supplies for the former ; third, the hunters, mostly 
Indians, who range over it in their season. 

At the end of three miles, we came to the Mattaseunk 
Btream and mill, where there was even a rude wooden 
railroad running down to the Penobscot, the last railroad 
we were to see. We crossed one tract, on the bank of 
»-e river, of more than a hundred acres of heavy timber, 
which had just been ^elled and burnt over, and was still 


smoking. Our trail lay through the midst of it, and wai 
wellnigh blotted out. The trees lay at full length, four 
or five feet deep, and crossing each other in all directions, 
all black as charcoal, but perfectly sound within, still 
good for fuel or for timber ; soon they would be cut into 
lengths and burnt again. Here were thousands of cords, 
enough to keep the poor of Boston and New York amply 
warm for a winter, which only cumbered the ground and 
were in the settler's way. And the whole of that solid 
and interminable forest is doomed to be gradually de- 
voured thus by fire, like shavings, and no man be warmed 
by it. At Crocker's log-hut, at the mouth of Salmon 
River, seven miles from the Point, one of the party com- 
menced distributing a store of small cent picture-books 
among the children, to teach them to read, and also 
newspapers, more or less recent, among the parents, than 
Avhicli nothing can be more acceptable to a backwoods 
people. It was really an important item in our outfit, 
and, at times, the only currency that would circulate. I 
walked through Salmon River with my shoes on, it being 
low water, but not without wetting my feet. A few miles 
farther we came to " Marm Howard's," at the end of an 
extensive clearing, where there were two or three log- 
huts in sight at once, one on the opposite side of the 
river, and a few graves, even surrounded by a wooden 
paling, where already the rude forefathers of a hamlet 
lie, and a thousand years hence, perciiance, some potit 
will write his " Elegy in a Country Churchyard." The 
" Village Hampdens," the " mute, inglorious Miltons." 
and Cromwells, "guiltless of" their "country's blood.* 
were yet unborn. 

" Perchance in this \rilil spot there v:i.ll be laid 
Some heart once pregnant with celestiol fire: 


Hands that the rod of empire might have swayea, 
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre." 

The next house was Fisk's, ten miles from the Point 
at the mouth of the East Branch, opposite to the island 
Nickatow, or the Forks, the last of the Indian islands. 
I am particular to give the names of the settlers and the 
distances, since every log-hut in these woods is a public 
I ouse, and such information is of no little consequence 
to those who may have occasion to travel this way. Our 
course here crossed the Penobscot, and followed the 
southern bank. One of the party, who entered the 
house in search of some one to set us over, reported a 
very neat dwelling, Avith plenty of books, and a new 
wife, just imported from Boston, wholly new to the 
woods. We found the East Branch a large and rapid 
stream at its mouth, and much deeper than it appeared. 
Having with some difficulty discovered the trail again, 
we kept up the south side of the West Branch, or main 
river, passing by some rapids called Rock-Ebeeme, the 
roar of which we heard through the woods, and, shortly 
after, in the thickest of the wood, some empty loggers* 
camps, still new, which were occupied the previous win- 
ter. Though we saw a few more afterwards, I will make 
one account serve for all. These were such houses as 
the lumberers of Maine spend the winter in, in the wil- 
derness. There were the camps and the hovels for the 
cattle, hardly distinguishable, except that the latter had 
no chimney. These camps were about twenty feet long 
by fifteen wide, built of logs, — hemlock, cedar, spruce, 
or yellow birch, — one kind alone, or all together, with 
the bark on ; two or three large ones first, one directly 
above another, and notched together at the ends, to the 
height of three or four feet, then of smaller logs resting 


upon transverse ones at the ends, each of the last sue 
cessively shorter than the other, to form the roof. The 
chimney was an oblong square hole in the middle, three 
or four feet in diameter, with a fence of logs as high as 
tha ridge. The interstices were filled with moss, and 
the roof was shingled with long and handsome splints of 
cedar, or spruce, or pine, rifted with a sledge and cleaver. 
The fire-place, the most important place of all, was in 
shape and size like the chimney, and directly under it, 
defined by a log fence or fender on the ground, and a 
heap of ashes, a foot or two deep, within, with solid 
benches of split logs running round it. Here the fire 
usually melts the snow, and dries the rain before it can 
descend to quench it. The faded beds of ai'bor-vitae 
leaves extended under the eaves on either hand. There 
was the place for the water-pail, pork-barrel, and wash- 
basin, and generally a dingy pack of cards left on a log. 
Usually a good deal of whittling was expended on the 
latch, which was made of wood, in the form of an iron 
one. These houses are made comfortable by the huge 
fires, which can be afibrded night and day. Usually the 
scenery about them is drear and savage enough ; and the 
loggers' camp is as completely in the woods as a fungus 
at the foot of a pine in a swamp ; no outlook but to the 
eky overhead ; no more clearing than is made by cutting 
down the trees of which it is built, and those which are 
accessary for fuel. If only it be well sheltered and con- 
venient to his work, and near a spring, he wastes no 
thought on the prospect. They are very proper forest 
hou;jes, the stems of the trees collected together and 
piled up around a man to keep out wind and rain, — 
made of living green logs, hanging with moss and lichen 
ard with ♦he curls and fringes of the yellow-birch bark 


imd dripping with resin, fresh and moist, and redolent of 
Bwampy odors, with that sort of vigor and perennialnesa 
even about them that toadstools suggest.* The logger's 
faro consists of tea, molasses, flour, pork (sometimes beef), 
and beans. A great proportion of the beans raised in 
Massachusetts find their market here. On expeditious 
it is only hard bread and pork, often raw, slice upon 
slice, with tea or water, as the case may be. 

The primitive wood is always and everywhere damp 
and mossy, so that I travelled constantly with the im- 
pression that I was in a swamp ; and only when it was 
remarked that this or that tract, judging from the qual- 
ity of the timber on it, would make a profitable clearing, 
was I reminded, that if the sun were let in it would 
make a dry field, like the few I had seen, at once. The 
best shod for the most part travel with wet feet. If the 
ground was so wet and spongy at this, the dryest part 
of a dry season, what must it be in the spring ? The 
woods hereabouts abounded in beech and yellow birch, 
of which last there were some very large specimens ; 
also spruce, cedar, fir, and hemlock ; but we saw only 
the stumps of the white pine here, some of them of 
great size, these having been already culled out, being 
the only tree much sought after, even as low down as 
this. Only a little spruce and hemlock beside had been 

• Springer, in his "Forest Life" (1851), says that they first re- 
moTO the leaves and turf from the spot wliere they intend to build a 
camp, for fear of fire ; also, that " tlie spruce-tree is generally select- 
ed for camp-building, it being light, straight, and quite free from 
tap " ; that " the roof is finally covered with the bouglis of the fir, 
ipruce, and hemlock, so that when the snow falls upon the whole, the 
warmth of the camp is preservsd in the coldest v^eather"; and that 
they make the log seat before the fire, called the " Deacon's Seat," 
of a spruce or fir split in halves, with three or four stout limbs letl 
•D one side for legs, which are not likely to get loose. 


logged here. The Eastern wood which is sold for fuel 
in Massachusetts all comes from below Bangor. It waa 
the pine alone, chiefly the white pine, that had tempted 
any but the hunter to precede us on tliis route. 

Wnite's farm, thirteen miles from the Point, is an ex- 
tensive and elevated clearing, from which we got a fine 
view of the river, ripphng and gleaming far beneath us. 
My companions had formerly had a good view of Ktaiuln 
and the other mountains here, but to-day it was so smoky 
that we could see nothing of them. We could overlook 
an immense country of uninterrupted forest, stretching 
away up the East Branch toward Canada, on the north 
and northwest, and toward the Aroostook valley on the 
northeast ; and imagine what wild life was stirring in its 
midst. Here was quite a field of corn for this region, 
whose peculiar dry scent we perceived a third of a 
mile off, before we saw it. 

Eighteen miles from the Point brought us in sight of 
McCauslin's, or " Uncle George's," as he was familiarly 
called by my companions, to whom he was well known, 
where we intended to break our long fast. His house 
was in the midst of an extensive clearing of intervale, 
at tlie mouth of the Little Schoodic River, on the op- 
posite or north bank of the Penobscot. So we collected 
on a point of the shore, that we might be seen, and fired 
our gun as a signal, which brought out his dogs forlh- 
with, and thereafter their master, who in due time took 
us across in his batteau. This clearing was bounded 
abruptly, on all sides but the river, by the naked stems 
of the forest, as if you were to cut only a few feet 
iquare in the midst of a thousand acres of mowing, and 
Aet down a thimble therein. He had a whole heavec 
and horizon to himself, and the sun .-eemed to be jour 


neying over his clearing only the livelong day. Here 
we concluded to spend the night, and wait for the In- 
dians, as there was no stopping-place so convenient 
above. He had seen no Indians pass, and this did not 
often happen without his knowledge. He thought that 
his dogs sometimes gave notice of the approach of Iii- 
dians half an hour before they arrived. 

McCauslin was a Kennebec man, of Scotch descent, 
who had been a waterman twenty-two years, and had 
driven on the lakes and head-waters of the Penobscot 
five or six springs in succession, but was now settled 
here to raise supplies for the lumberers and for himself. 
He entertained us a day or two with true Scotch hospi* 
tality, and would accept no recompense for it. A man 
of a dry wit and shrewdness, and a general intelligence 
which I liad not looked for in the backwoods. In fact, 
the deeper you penetrate into the woods, the more in- 
telligent, and, in one sense, less countrified do you find 
the inhabitants ; for always the pioneer has been a trav- 
eller, and, to some extent, a man of the world ; and, as 
the distances with which he is familiar are greater, so 
is his information more general and far reaching than 
the villagers. If I were to look for a narrow, unin- 
formed, and countrified mind, as opposed to the intelli- 
jjence and refinement which are thought to emanate from 
cities, it would be among the rusty inhabitants of an old- 
settled country, on farms all run out and gone to seed 
with life-everlasting, in the towns about Boston, even 
on the high-road in Concord, and not in the backwoods 
of Maine. 

Supper was got before our eyes in the ample kitchen, 
by a fire which would have roasted an ox ; many whole 
logs, four feet long, were consumed to boil our tea-kettle. 


— birch, or beech, or maple, the same summer and win. 
ter; and the dishes were soon smoking on the lable, 
late the arm-chair, against the wall, from which one of 
the party was expelled. The arms of the chair formed 
the frame on which the table rested ; and, when the 
round top was turned up against the wall, it formed 
the back of the chair, and was no more in the way than 
the wall itself. This, we noticed, was the prevailing 
fashion in these log-houses, in order to economize in 
room. There were piping-hot wheaten cakes, the flour 
having been brought up the river in batteaux, — no In- 
dian bread, for the upper part of Maine, it will be re- 
membered, is a wheat country, — and ham, eggs, and 
potatoes, and milk and cheese, the produce of the farm ; 
and also shad and salmon, tea sweetened with molasses, 
and sweet cakes, in contradistinction to the hot cakes not 
sweetened, the one white, the other yellow, to wind up 
with. Such we found was the prevailing fare, ordinary 
and extraordinary, along this river. Mountain cran- 
berries ( Vaccinium Vitis-Idcea), stewed and sweetened, 
were the common dessert. Everything here was in pro- 
fusion, and the best of its kind. Butter was in such 
plenty that it was commonly used, before it was salted, 
to grease boots with. 

In the night we were entertained by the sound of^ 
rain-drops on the cedar-splints which covered the roof, 
and awaked the next morning with a drop or two in our 
eyes. It had set in for a storm, and we made up our 
minds not to forsake such comfortable quarters with thig 
prospect, but wait for Indians and fair weather. It 
rained and drizzled and gleamed by turns, the livelong 
day. What we did there, how we killed the time, 
Vould perhaps be idle to tell ; how many times we but 


tered onr boots, and how often a drowsy one was seen 
to sidle off to the bedroom. When it held up, I sti'olled 
up and down the bank, and gathered the harebell and 
csdar-berries, which grew there ; or else we tried by 
turns the long-handled axe on the logs before the door. 
The axe-helves here w<;re made to chop standing on 'hf 
log, — a primitive log of course, — and were, therefore 
nearly a foot longer than with us. One while we 
walked over the farm and visited his well-filled barns 
with McCauslin. There were one other man and two 
women only here. He kept horses, cows, oxen, and 
sheep. I think he said that he was the first to bring 
a plough and a cow so far ; and he might have added 
the last, with only two exceptions. The potato-rot had 
found him out here, too, the previous year, and got half 
or two thirds of his crop, though the seed was of his 
own raising. Oats, grass, and potatoes were his staples ; 
but he raised, also, a few carrots and turnips, and " a 
little corn for the bens," for this was all that he dared 
risk, for fear that it would not ripen. Melons, squashes, 
«weet-corn, beans, tomatoes, and many other vegetables, 
could not be ripened there. 

The very few settlers along this stream M'ere obvi- 
ously tempted by the cheapness of the land mainly. 
"When I asked McCauslin why more settlers did not 
come in, he answered, that one reason was, they could 
not buy the land, it belonged to individuals or companies 
who were afraid that their wild lands would be settled, 
and so incorporated into towns, and they be taxed for 
them ; bat to settling on the States' land there was no 
Buch hinderance. For his own part, he wanted no 
ueighbors, — he didn't Avish to see any road by his 
house. Neighbors, even the best, were a trouble and 


expense, especially on the score of cattle and fencea. 
They might live across the river, perhaps, but not on 
the same side. 

The chickens here were protected by the dogs. As 
McCauslin said, " The old one took it up first, and she 
taught the pup, and now they had got it into their head." 
that it would n't do to have anything of the bird kind 
on the premises." A hawk hovering over was not al- 
lowed to alight, but barked off by the dogs circling un- 
derneath ; and a pigeon, or a " yellow-hammer," as they 
called the pigeon-woodpecker, on a dead limb or stump, 
was instantly expelled. It was the main business of 
their day, and kept them constantly coming and going. 
One would rush out of the house on the least alarm 
given by the other. 

When it rained hardest, we returned to the house, 
and took down a tract from the shelf. There was the 
Wandering Jew, cheap edition, and fine print, the Crimi- 
nal Calendar, and Parish's Geography, and flash novels 
two or three. Under the pressure of circumstances, we 
read a Httle in these. With such aid, the press is not 
so feeble an engine, after all. This house, which was a 
fair specimen of those on this river, was built of huge 
log?, which peeped out everywhere, and were chinked 
with clay and moss. It contained four or five rooms. 
Tliere were no sawed boards, or shingles, or clapboards, 
about it; and scarcely any tool but the axe had been 
used in its construction. The partitions were made of 
long clapboard-like splints, of spruce or cedar, turned 
to a delicate salmon color by the smoke. The roof and 
sides were covered with the same, instead of shingles 
and clapboards, and some of a much thicker and larger 
tixe were used for the floor. These were all so straighi 


and smooth, that they answered the purpose admirably, 
and a careless observer would not have suspected that 
they were not sawed and planed. The chimney and 
hearth were of vast size, and made of stone. The 
broom was a few twigs of arbor-vitse tied to a stick ; 
and a pole was suspended over the hearth, close to the 
ceilings, to dry stockings and clothes on. I noticed that 
the floor was full of small, dingy holes, as if made with 
a gimlet, but which were, in fact, made by the spikes, 
nearly an inch long, which the lumberers wear in their 
boots to prevent their slipping on wet logs. Just above 
McCauslin's, there is a rocky rapid, where logs jam in 
the spring ; and many " drivers " are there collected, 
who frequent his house for supplies ; these were their 
tracks which I saw. 

At sundown McCauslin pointed away over the forest, 
across the river, to signs of fair weather amid the 
clouds, — some evening redness there. For even there 
the points of compass held; and there was a quarter 
of the heavens aj^propriated to sunrise and another to 

The next morning, the weather proving fair enough 
for our purpose, we prepared to start, and, the Indians 
having failed us, persuaded McCauslin, who was not 
unwilling to revisit the scenes of his driving, to accom- 
pany us in their stead, intending to engage one other 
boatman on the way. A strip of cotton cloth for a 
tent, a couple of blankets, which would suffice for the 
whole party, fifteen pounds of hard bread, ten pounds 
of " clear " pork, and a little tea, made up " Uncle 
George's " pack. The last three articles were calcu- 
hited to be provision enough for six men for a week, 
with what we might pick up. A t/^a-kettlc, a frying- 

26 THE MAINE W00i>S. 

pan, and an axe, to be obtained at the last house, yioali 
complete our outfit. 

We were soon out of McCauslin's clearing, and in the 
ever green woods again. The obscure trail made by the 
two settlers above, which even the woodman is some- 
times puzzled to discern, erelong crossed a narrow, open 
strip in the woods overrun with weeds, called the Burnt 
Land, where a fire had raged formerly, stretching north- 
ward nine or ten miles, to Millinocket Lake. At the 
end of three miles, we reached Shad Pond, or Nolisee- 
mack, an expansion of the river. Hodge, the Assistant 
State Geologist, who passed through this on the 25th 
of June, 1837, says, " We pushed our boat through 
an acre or more of buck-beans, which had taken root 
at the bottom, and bloomed above the surface in the 
greatest profusion and beauty." Thomas Fowler's house 
is four miles from McCauslin's, on the shore of the pond, 
at the mouth of the Millinocket River, and eight miles 
from the lake of the same name, on the latter stream 
This lake affords a more dirpct course to Ktaadn, but 
we preferred to follow the Penobscot and the Pamadum- 
K ook lakes. Fowler was just completing a new log-hut, 
aid was sawing out a window through the logs, nearly 
two feet thick, when we arrived. He had begun to paper 
his house with spruce-bark, turned inside out, which had 
a good effect, and was in keeping with the circumstances. 
Instead of water we got here a draught of beer, which, 
it was allowed, would be better ; clear and thin, but 
strong and stringent as the cedar-sap. It was as if we 
sucked at the very teats of Nature's pine-clad bosom in 
these parts, — the sap of all Millinocket botany commin- 
gled, — the topmost, most fantastic, and spiciest spray« 
9f the primitive wood, and whatever invigorating an^ 


itringent gum or essence it afforded steeped and dis- 
solved in it, — a lumberer's drink, which would acclimate 
and naturalize a man at once, — which would make hirn 
Bee green, and, if he slept, dream that he heard the wind 
BOugh among the pines. Here was a fife, praying to be 
played on, through which we breathed a few tuneful 
strains, — brought hither to tame wild beasts. As wc 
stood upon the pile of chips by the door, fish-hawks 
were sailing overhead ; and here, over Shad Pond, might 
daily be witnessed the tyranny of the bald-eagle over 
that bird. Tom pointed away over the lake to a bald- 
eagle's nest, which was plainly visible more than a mile 
off, on a pine, high above the surrounding forest, and 
was frequented from year to year by the same pair, and 
held sacred by him. There were these two houses only 
there, his low hut and the eagles' airy cart-load of fagots. 
Thomas Fowler, too, Avas persuaded to join us, for two 
men were necessary to manage the batteau, which was 
soon to be our carriage, and these men needed to be cool ^-^ ^ 
and skilful for the navigation of the Penobscot. Tom'a 
pack was soon made, for he had not far to look for his 
waterman's boots, and a red-flannel shirt. This is the 
fiivorite color with lumbermen ; and red flannel is re- 
puted to possess some mysterious virtues, to be most 
healthful and convenient in respect to perspiration. In 
every gang there will be a large proportion of red birds. 
We took here a poor and leaky batteau, and began to 
pole up the Millinocket two miles, to tlie elder Fowler's, 
in order to avoid the Grand Falls of the Penobscct, 
intending to exchange our batteau there for a better. 
The Millinocket is a small, shallow, and sandy stream, 
full of what I took to be lam prey -eels' or suckers' nests, 
and lined with musqua-h cabins, but free from rapidsi 



acoonling to Fowler, excepting at its outlet from thf 
lake. He was at this time engaged in cutting the native 
grass, — rush-grass and meadow-clover, as he called it,— 
on the meadows and small, low islands of this stream. 
"We noticed flattened places in the grass on either side, 
where, he said, a moose had laid down the night before, 
adding, that there were thousands in these meadows. 

Old Fowler's, on the Millinocket, six miles from M> 
Causlin's, and twenty-four from the Point, is the last 
house. Gibson's, on the Sowadnehunk, is the only clear- 
ing above, but that had proved a failure, and was long 
since deserted. Fowler is the oldest inhabitant of these 
woods. He formerly lived a few miles from here, on 
the south side of the West Branch, where he built his 
house sixteen years ago, the first house built above the 
Five Islands. Here our new batteau was to be carried 
over the first portage of two miles, round the Grand 
Falls of the Penobscot, on a horse-sled made of sap- 
lings, to jump the numerous rocks in the way ; but we 
had to wait a couple of hours for them to catch the 
horses, which were pastured at a distance, amid the 
stumps, and had wandered still farther off. The last 
of the salmon for this season had just been caught, and 
were still fresh in pickle, from which enough was ex- 
tracted to fill our empty kettle, and so graduate our 
introduction to simpler forest fare. The week before 
they had lost nine sheep here out of their tlr«t flock, 
by the wolves. The surviving sheep came round the 
Aouse, and seemed frightened, which induced them to go 
Wid look for the rest, when they found seven dead and 
jacerated, and two still alive. Tliese last they carried 
to the house, and, as Mrs. Fowler said, they were merely 
icratched in the throat, and had no more visible woun4 


than would be produced by the prick of a pin. She 
sheared off the wool from their throats, and washed 
them, and put on some salve, and turned them out, but 
in a few moments they were missing, and had not beea 
found since. In fact, they were all poisoned, and those 
that were found swelled up at once, so that they saved 
neither skin nor wool. This realized the old fables of 
the Avolves and the sheep, and convinced me that that 
ancient hostility still existed. Verily, the shepherd-boy 
did not need to sound a false alarm this time. There 
were steel traps by the door, of various sizes, for wolves, 
otter, and bears, with large claws instead of teeth, to 
catch in their sinews. Wolves are frequently killed 
with poisoned bait. 

At length, after we had dined here on the usual back- 
woods fare, the horses arrived, and we hauled our batteau 
out of the water, and lashed it to its wicker carriage, and, 
tnrowing in our packs, walked on before, leaving the 
boatmen and driver, who was Tom's brother, to manage 
the concern. The route, which led through the wild 
pasture where the sheep were killed, was in some places 
the roughest ever travelled by horses, over rocky hills, 
where the sled bounced and shd along, like a vessel 
pitching in a storm ; and one man was as necessary to 
stand at the stern, to prevent the boat from being 
wrecked, as a helmsman in the roughest sea. The 
philosophy of our progress was something like this : 
when the runners struck a rock three or four feet high, 
the sled bounced back and upwards at the same time ; 
but, as the horses never ceased pulling, it came down on 
the top of the rock, and so we got over. This portage 
probably followed the trail of an ancient Indian carry 
round these falls. By two o'clock we, wLo bad walked 


on before, reached the river above the falls, not far from 
the outlet of Quakish Lake, and waited for the batteau 
to come up. We had been hero but a short time, when 
a thunder-shower was seen coming up from the west, 
over the still invisible lakes, and that pleasant wilder- 
ness which we were so eager to become acquainted 
with ; and soon the heavy drops began to patter on the 
leaves around us. I had just selected the prostrate 
trunk of a huge pine, five or six feet in diameter, and 
was crawling under it, when, luckily, the boat arrived. 
It would have amused a sheltered man to witness the 
manner in which it was unlashed, and whirled over» 
while the first water-spout burst upon us. It was no 
sooner in the hands of the eager company than it was 
abandoned to the first revolutionary impulse, and to 
gravity, to adjust it ; and they might have been seen 
all stooping to its shelter, and wriggling under like so 
many eels, before it was fairly deposited on the ground. 
"When all were under, we propped up the lee side, and 
busied ourselves there whittling thole-pins for rowing, 
when we should reach the lakes ; and made the woods 
ring, between the claps of thunder, with such boat-songs 
as we could remember. The horses stood sleek and 
shining with the rain, all drooping and crestfallen, while 
deluge after deluge washed over us ; but the bottom of a 
boat may be relied on for a tight roof. At length, after 
two hours' delay at this place, a streak of fair weatlier 
appeared in the northwest, whither our course now lay. 
promising a serene evening for our voyage ; and the 
driver returned with his horses, while we made liaste 
to launch our boat, and commence our voyage in good 

There were six of us, including the two boatmen 


With our packs heaped up near the bows, an J ourselves 

disposed as baggage to trim the boat, with instructions 
not to move in case we should strike a rock, more than 
BO many barrels of pork, we pushed out into the first 
rapid, a slight specunen of the stream we had to navi- 
giito. With Uncle George in the stern, and Tom in 
the bows, each using a spruce pole about twelve feet 
long, pointed with iron,* and poling on the same side, 
we shot up the rapids like a salmon, the water rushing 
and roaring around, so that only a practised eye could 
distinguish a safe course, or tell what was deep water 
and what rocks, frequently grazing the latter on one or 
both sides, with a hundred as narrow escapes as ever 
the Argo had in passing through the Symplegades. I, 
who had had some experience in boating, had never 
experienced any half so exhilarating before. We were 
lucky to have exchanged our Indians, whom we did not 
know, for these men, who, together with Tom's brother, 
were reputed the best boatmen on the river, and were at 
once indispensable pilots and pleasant companions. The 
canoe is smaller, more easily upset, and sooner worn 
out ; and the Indian is said not to be so skilful in the 
management of the batteau. He is, for the most part, 
less to be relied on, and more disposed to sulks and 
whims. The utmost familiarity witli dead stream'?, or 
with the ocean, would not prepare a man for this pecu- 
liar navigation ; and the most skilful boatman anywhere 
else would iiere be obliged to take out his boat and carry 
round a hundred times, still with great risk, as well as 
delay, where the practised batteau-man poles up with 
comparative tase and safety. Tlie \iardy "voyageur" 
pushes wiili incredible perseverance and success quite 

• Tie 'Jhi a '.iiiiis call it picqner ttefmnd. 


Dp to the foot of the falls, and then only (jarries round 
some perpendicular ledge, and launches again in 
" The torrent's smoothness, ere it dash below," 
to struggle with the boiling rapids above. The Indian! 
Bay that the river once ran both ways, one half up and 
the other down, but that, since the white man came, il 
all runs down, and now they must laboriously pole their 
canoes against the stream, and carry them over numerous 
portages. In the summer, all stores — the grindstone and 
the plough of the pioneer, flour, pork, and utensils for the 
explorer — must be conveyed up the river in batteaux ; 
and many a cargo and many a boatman is lost in these 
waters. In the winter, however, which is very equable 
and long, the ice is the great highway, and the loggers' 
team penetrates to Chesuncook Lake, and still higher 
up, even two hundred miles above Bangor. Imagine 
the solitary sled-track running far up into the snowy 
and evergreen wilderness, hemmed in closely fvjr a hun- 
dred miles by the forest, and again stretching straight 
across the broad surfaces of concealed lakes ! 

"We were soon in the smooth water of the Quakish 
Lake, and took our turns at rowing and paddling across 
it. It is a small, irregular, but handsome lake, shut in 
on all sides by the forest, and showing no traces of man 
but some low boom in a distant cove, reserved for spring 
use. The spruce and cedar on its shores, hung with 
gray lichens, looked at a distance like tlie ghosts of trees. 
Ducks were sailing here and there on its surface, and a 
eolitary loon, like a more living wave, — a vital spot on 
the lake's surface, — laughed and frolicked, and showed 
its straight leg, for our amusement. Joe Merry Moui- 
tain appeared in the northwest, as if it were looking 
JloTrn on this lake especially ; and we had our first, hvi 


K paitial view of Ktaadn, its summit veiled in clouds, 
like a dark isthmus in that quarter, connecting the 
heavens with the earth. After two miles of smooth 
rowing across this lake, we found ourselves in the river 
again, which was a continuous rapid for one mile, to 
the dam, requiring all the strength and skill of our boat* 
men to pole up it. 

This dam is a quite important and expensive work 
for this country, whither cattle and horses cannot pene- 
trate in the summer, raising the whole river ten feet, 
and flooding, as they said, some sixty square miles by 
means of the innumerable lakes with which the river 
connects. It is a lofty and solid structure, with sloping 
piers some distance above, made of frames of logs filled 
with stones, to break the ice.* Here every log pays toll 
as it passes through the sluices. 

We filed into the rude logger's camp at this place, 
such as I have described, without ceremony, and the 
cook, at that moment the sole occupant, at once set about 
preparing tea for his visitors. His fireplace, which the 
rain had converted into a mud-puddle, was soon blazing 
again, and we sat down on the log benches around it 
to dry us. On the well-flattened and somewhat faded 
beds of arbor-vitae leaves, which stretched on either 
liand under the eaves behind us, lay an odd leaf of the 
Bible, some genealogical chapter out of the Old Testa- 
ment ; and, half buried by the leaves, we found Emer- 
son's Address on West India Emancipation, which had 
l>een left here formerly by one of our company, and had 

» Even the Jesuit missionaries, accustome(f to the St. Lawrence 
and other rivers of Canada, in their first expeditions to the Abena- 
qainois, speak of rivers /erjws de rochert, shod with recks. See Use 
No. 10 Relations, for 1647, p 185 

2* O 


made tw.^ converts to the Liberty party here, as 1 was told ; 

also, an odd number of the Westminster Review, foi 
1834, and a pamphlet entitled History of the Erection 
of the Monument on the grave of Myron Holly. Thia 
was the readable, or reading matter, in a lumberer's 
camp in the Maine woods, thirty miles from a road, 
which would be given up to the bears in a fortnight. 
These things were well thumbed and soiled. This gang 
was headed by one John Morrison, a good specimen of a 
Yankee ; and was necessarily composed of men not bred 
to the business of dam-building, but who were Jacks-at- 
all-trades, handy with the axe, and other simple imple- 
ments, and well skilled in wood and water craft. We 
had hot cakes for our supper even here, white as snow- 
balls, but without butter, and the never-failing sweet 
cakes, with which we filled our pockets, foreseeing that 
we should not soon meet with the like again. Such 
delicate puff-balls seemed a singular diet for backwoods- 
men. There was also tea without milk, sweetened with 
molasses. And so, exchanging a word with John Mor- 
rison and his gang when we had returned to the shore, 
and also exchanging our batteau for a better still, we 
made haste to impi'ove the little daylight that remained. 
This camp, exactly twenty-nine miles from Mattawam- 
keag Point, by the way we had come, and about one 
hundred from Bangor by the river, was the last hjman 
habitation of any kind in this direction. Beyond, there 
was no trail ; and the river and lakes, by batteaux and 
canoes, was considered the only practicable route. We 
were about thirty miles by the river from the summit 
of Ktaadn, which was in sight, though not more than 
twenty, perhaps, in a straight line. 

It btting about the full of the moon, and a warm and 


pleasant evening, we decided to row five miles by moon- 
light to the head of the North Twin Lake, lest the wind 
should rise on the morrow. After one mile of river, or 
what the boatmen call "thoroughfare," — for the river 
becomes at length only the connecting link between the 
lakes, — and some slight rapid which had been mostly 
made smooth water by the dam, we entered the North 
Twin Lake just after sundown, and steered across for 
the river '' thoroughfare," four miles distant. This is a 
noble sheet of water, where one may get the impi'ession 
which a new country and a "lake of the woods" are 
fitted to create. There was the smoke of no log-hut nor 
camp of any kind to greet us, still less was any lover of 
nature or musing traveller watching our batteau from 
the distant hills ; not even the Indian hunter was there, 
for he rarely climbs them, but hugs the river like our- 
selves. No face welcomed us but the fine fantastic 
sprays of free and happy evergreen trees, waving one 
above another in their ancient home. At first the red 
clouds hung over the western shore as gorgeously as if 
over a city, and the lake lay open to the light with even 
a civilized aspect, as if expecting trade and commerce, 
and towns and villas. We could distinguish the inlet to 
the South Twin, which is said to be the larger, whera 
the shore was misty and blue, and it was worth the while 
to look thus through a narrow opening across the entire 
expanse of a concealed lake to its own yet more dim and 
distant shore. The shores rose gently to ranges of \o\T~ 
hills covered with forests ; and though, in fact, the most 
valuable white pine timber, even about this lake, had 
been culled out, this would never have been suspected 
by the voyager. The impression, which indeed corre- 
iponded with the fact, was, as if we were upon a high 


table-land between the States and Canada, the northern 
side of which is drained by the St. John and Chaudiere 
the southern by the Penobscot and Kennebec. There 
was no bold mountainous shore, as we might have ex- 
pected, but only isolated hills and mountains rising liere 
and there from the plateau. The country is an archi- 
pelago of lakes, — the lake-country of New England. 
Their levels vary but a few feet, and the boatmen, by 
short portages, or by none at all, pass easily from one to 
another. They say that at very high water the Penob- 
scot and the Kennebec flow into each other, or at any 
rate, that you may lie with your face in the one and 
your toes in the other. Even the Penobscot and St. 
John have been connected by a canal, so that the lumber 
of the Allegash, instead of going down the St. John, 
comes down the Penobscot; and the Indian's tradition, 
that the Penobscot once ran both ways for his conven- 
ience, is, in one sense, partially realized to-day. 

None of our party but McCauslin had been above this 
lake, so we trusted to him to pilot us, and we could not 
but confess the importance of a pilot on these waters. 
While it is river, you will not easily forget which way is 
up stream ; but when you enter a lake, the river is com- 
pletely lost, and you scan the distant shores in vain to 
find where it comes in. A strangei" is, for the time at 
least, lost, and must set about a voyage of discovery first 
of all to find the river. To follow the windings of the 
shore when the lake is ten miles, or even more, in length, 
and of an irregularity which will not soon be mapped, is 
a wearisome voyage, and will spend his time and liia 
provisions. They tell a story of a gang of experienced 
woodmen sent to a location on this stream, who were 
thus lost in the wilderness of lakes. They cut their waj 


through thickets, and carried their baggage and their 
boats over from lake to lake, sometimes several miles. 
They carried into Millinocket Lake, which is on another 
stream, and is ten miles square, and contains a hundred 
islands. They explored its shores thoroughly, and then 
carried into another, and another, and it was a week of 
toil and anxiety before they found the Penobscot River 
again, and then their provisions were exhausted, and 
they were obliged to return. 

While Uncle George steered for a small island near 
the head of the lake, now just visible, like a speck on 
the water, we rowed by turns swiftly over its surface, 
singing such boat-songs as we could remember. The 
shores seemed at an indefinite distance in the moonlight. 
Occasionally we paused in our singing and rested on our 
oars, while we listened to hear if the wolves howled, for 
this is a common serenade, and my companions affirmed 
that it was the most dismal and unearthly of sounds ; 
but we heard none this time. If we did not hear, how 
ever, we did listen, not without a reasonable expectation ; 
that at least I have to tell, — only some utterly uncivil- 
ized, big-throated owl hooted loud and dismally in the 
drear and boughy wilderness, plainly not nervous about 
his solitary life, nor afraid to hear the echoes of his 
voice there. We remembered also that possibly moose 
were silently watching us from the distant coves, or 
Bome surly bear or timid caribou had been startled by 
our singing. It was with new emphasis that we sang 
there the Canadian boat-song, — 

" Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast, 
The Rapids are near and the daylight 's past ! " — 

which d ascribes precisely our own adventure, and was 
inspired by thu experience of a similar kind of life,— 


for the rapids were ever near, and the daylight long 
past ; the woods on shore looked dim, and many aa 
Utawas' tide here emptied into the lake. 

" Why should we yet our sail unfurl? 
There is not a breath the blue wave to cnrl 1 
But, when the wind blows oflf the shore, 
sweetly we Ml rest our weary oar." 

••' Utawas' tide! this trembling moon, 
Shall see us float o'er thy surges soon." 

At last we glided past the " green isle " which had 
been our landmark, all joining in the chorus ; as if by 
the watery links of rivers and of lakes we were about 
to float over unmeasured zones of earth, bound on ud- 
imaginable adventures, — 

" Saint of this green isle ! hear our prayers, 
grant us cool heavens and favoring airs ! " 

Abont nine o'clock we reached the river, and ran oui 
boat into a natural haven between some rocks, and drew 
her out on the sand. This camping-ground McCausUn 
had been familiar with in his lumbering days, and he 
now struck it unerringly in the moonlight, and we heard 
the sound of the rill which would supply us with cool 
water emptying into the lake. The first business was to 
make a fire, an operation which was a little delayed by 
the wetness of the fuel and the ground, owing to the 
heavy showers of the afternoon. Tlie fire is the main 
comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and 
is about as ample at one season as at anotlier. It is as 
well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness. It 
forms one side of the camp ; one bright side at any rate 
Some were dispersed to fetch in dead trees and boughs, 
wuile Uncle George felled the birches and beeches which 
stood convenient, and soon we had a fire some ten feet 


long by three or four high, which rapidly dried the 
Piind before it. This was calculated to burn all night 
We next proceeded to pitch our tent ; which operation 
was performed by sticking our two spike-poles into the 
ground in a slanting direction, about ten feet apart, for 
rafters, and then drawing our cotton cloth over them, 
and tying it down at the ends, leaving it open in frcnt, 
ehed-fashion. But this evening the wind carried the 
sparks on to the tent and burned it. So we hastily drew 
up the batteau just within the edge of the woods before 
the fire, and propping up one side three or four feet 
high, spread the tent on the ground to lie on ; and with 
the corner of a blanket, or what more or less we could 
got to put over us, lay down with our heads and bodies 
under the boat, and our feet and legs on the sand toward 
the fire. At first we lay awake, talking of our course, 
and finding ourselves in so convenient a posture for 
studying the heavens, with the moon and stars shining 
in our faces, our conversation naturally turned upon 
astronomy, and we recounted by turns the most inter- 
esting discoveries in that science. But at length we 
composed ourselves seriously to sleep. It was inter- 
esting, when awakened at midnight, to watch the gro- 
tesque and fiend-like forms and motions of some one 
of the party, who, not being able to sleep, had got up 
silently to arouse the fire, and add fresh fuel, for a 
(hange; now stealthily lugging a dead tree from cut 
the dark, and heaving it on, now stirring up the embers 
with his fork, or tiptoeing about to observe the stars, 
watched, perchance, by half the prostrate party in 
breathless silence ; so much the more intense because 
they were awake, while each supposed his neighbor 
•ound asleep. Thus aroused, I too brought fresh <'u»'J 



jo the fire, and then rambled along the sandy shore lu 
the moonlight, hoping to meet a moose, come down tc 
drink, or else a wolf. The little rill tinkled the louder 
and peopled all the wilderness for me ; and the glassj 
smootlmess of the sleeping lake, laving the shores of 9 
new world, with the dark, fantastic rocks rising here and 
there from its surface, made a scene not easily described 
It has left such an impression of stern, yet gentle, wild 
ness on my memory as will not soon be effaced. Nol 
far from midnight we were one after another awakened 
by rain falling on our extremities ; and as each was 
made aware of the fact by cold or wet, he drew a long 
sigh and then drew up his legs, until gradually we hiid 
all sidled round from lying at right angles with the boat, 
till our bodies formed an acute angle with it, and were 
wholly protected. When next we awoke, the moon and 
stars were shining again, and there were signs of dawn 
a the east. I have been thus particular in order to con- 
vex' some idea of a nifht in the woods. 
\^ We had soon launr*.hed and loaded our boat, and, 
leaving our fire blazing, were off again before breakfast. 
The lumberers rarely trouble themselves to put out their 
fires, such is the dampness of the primitive forest ; and 
this is one cause, no donbt, of the frequent fires in 
Maine, of which we hear so much on smoky days in 
Massachusetts. The forests are held cheap after the 
white pine has been culled out ; and the explorers and 
hunters pray for rain only to clear the atmosphere of 
smoke.'^ The woods were so wet to-day, however, that 
there was no danger of our fire spreading. After poling 
up half a mile of river, or thoroughfare, we rowed a mile 
across the foot of Pamadumcook Lake, which is the 
name given on the map to this whole chain of lakes, as 


if there was but one, though they are, in each instance, 
distinctly separated by a reach of the river, with its nar- 
row and rocky channel and its rapids. This hike, which 
is one of the largest, stretched northwest ten miles, to 
hills and mountains in the distance. McCauslin pointed 
to some distant, and as yet inaccessible, forests of white 
pine, on tlie sides of a mountain in that direction. Tho 
Joe Merry Lakes, which lay between us and Moose- 
head, on the west, were recently, if they are not stilL 
'' surrounded by some of the best timbered land in the 
State." By another thoroughfare we passed into Deep 
Cove, a part of the same lake, which makes up two 
njiles, toward the northeast, and rowing two miles across 
this, by another short thoroughfare, entered Ambejijis 

At the entrance to a lake we sometimes observed 
what is technically called " fencing stuff," or the unhewn 
timbers of which booms are formed, either secured to- 
gether in the water, or laid up on the rocks and lashed 
to trees, for spring use. But it was always startling to 
discover so plain a trail of civilized man there. I re- 
member that I was strangely affected, when we were 
returning, by the sight of a ring-bolt well drilled into a 
rock, and fastened with lead, at the head of this solitary 
Ambejijis Lake. 

It was easy to see that driving logs must be an ex- 
citing as well as arduous and dangerous business. All 
winter long the logger goes on piling up the trees which 
he has trimmed and hauled in some dry ravine at the 
head of a stream, and then in the spring he stands on 
the bank and whistles for Rain and Thaw, ready to 
wring the perspiration out of his shirt to swell the tide, 
till suddenly, with a whoop and halloo from him, shut- 


ting his eye?, as if to bid farewell to the existing state of 
things, a fair proportion of his winter's work goes scram < 
bling down the country, followed by his faithful dogs, 
Thaw and Kain and Freshet and Wind, the whole pack 
in full cry, toward the Orono Mills. Every log is 
Ptarked with the owner's name, cut in the sap wood with 
^n axe or bored with an auger, so deep as not to be 
worn off in the driving, and yet not so as to injure the 
■jmber ; and it requires considerable ingenuity to invent 
lew and simple marks where there are so many owners. 
They have quite an alphabet of their own, which only 
\he practised can read. One of my companions read off 
from his memorandum-book some marks of his own logs, 
»mong which there were crosses, belts, crow's feet, gir- 
dles, &c., as, " Y — girdle — crow-foot," and various 
other devices. When the logs have run the gauntlet of 
innumerable rapids and falls, each on its own account, 
with more or less jamming and bruising, those bearing 
various owners' marks being mixed up together, — since 
all must take advantage of the same freshet, — they are col- 
lected together at the heads of the lakes, and surrounded 
by a boom fence of floating logs, to prevent their being 
dispersed by the wind, and are thus wwed altogether, 
like a flock of sheep, across the lake, where there is no 
current, by a windlass, or boom-head, such as we some- 
times saw standing on an island or head-land, and, if 
circumstances permit, with the aid of sails and oars. 
Sometimes, notwithstanding, tl-o Jogs are dispersed over 
many miles of lake surface in a few hours by winds and 
freshets, and thrown up on distant shores, where the 
driver can pick up only one or two at a time, and re- 
turn with them to the thoroughfare ; and before he getj 
his flock well through Ambejijis or Pamadumcook, hf 


makes manj a wet and uncomfortable camp on the 
shore. He must be able to navigate a log as if it were 
a canoe, and be as indifferent to cold and wet as a musk- 
rat. He uses a few efficient tools, — a lever commonly 
of rock-maple, six or seven feet long, with a stout spike 
in it, strongly fei'uled on, and a long spike-pole, with 
a screw at the end of the spike to make it hold. The 
boys along shore learn to walk on floating logs as city 
boys on sidewalks. Sometimes the logs are thrown up 
on rocks in such positions as to be irrecoverable but 
by another freshet as high, or they jam together at 
rapids and falls, and accumulate in vast piles, which the 
driver must start at the risk of his life. Such is the 
lumber business, which depends on many accidents, as 
the early freezing of the rivers, that the teams may get 
up in season, a sufficient freshet in the spring, to fetch 
the logs down, and many others.* I quote Michaux on 
Lumbering on tlie Kennebec, then the source of the 
best white-pine lumber carried to England. " The per- 
sons engaged in this branch of industry are generally emi- 
grants from New Hampshire In the summer they 

unite in small companies, and traverse these vast soli- 
tudes in every direction, to ascertain the places in which 
the pines abound. After cutting the grass and converting 
it into hay for the nourishment of the cattle to be em- 
ployed in their labor, they return home. In the begin- 
ning of the winter they enter the forests again, establish 

* " A steady current or pitch of water is preferable to one either 
lising or diminisliing ; as, when rising rapidlj', the water at the 
dle of the river is considerably higher than at th3 shores, — so much 
go as to be distinctly perceived by the eye of a spectator on thfe 
bunks, presenting an appearance lise & turnpike road. The lumber, 
theref-rre, is always sure to incline fr.m the centre cf the channel 
toward either shore." — Springer. 


themselves in huts covered with the bark of the canoe« 
birch, or the arbor-vitae ; and, though the cold is so 
intense that the mercury sometimes remains for several 
weeks from 40' to 50" [Fahr.] below the point of con- 
gelation, they persevere, with unabated courage, in their 
work." According to Springer, the company consists of 
choppers, swampers, — who make roads, — barker and 
loader, teamster, and cook. " "When the trees are felled, 
they cut them into logs from fourteen to eighteen feet long, 
and, by means of their cattle, which they employ with 
great dexterity, drag them to the river, and after stamp- 
ing on them a mark of property, roll them on its frozen 
bosom. At the breaking of the ice, in the spring, they 

float down with the current The logs that are not 

drawn the first year," adds Michaux, " are attacked by 
large worms, which form holes about two lines in diam- 
eter, in every direction ; but, if stripped of their bark, 
ihey will remain uninjured for thirty years." 

Ambejijis, this quiet Sunday morning, struck me as 
the most beautiful lake we had seen. It is said to be 
one of the deepest. We had the fairest view of Joe 
Merry, Double Top, and Ktaadn, from its surface. The 
bummit of the latter had a singularly flat, table-land ap- 
pearance, like a short highway, where a demigod might 
be let down to take a turn or two in an afternoon, to 
settle his dinner. We rowed a mile and a half to near 
the head of the lake, and, pushing through a field of lily- 
pads, landed, to cook our breakfast, by the side of a large 
rock, known to McCauslin. Our breakfast consisted of 
tea, with hard bread and pork, and fried salmon, which 
we ate with forks neatly whittled from alder-twigs, which 
grew there, off strips of birch-bark for plates. The tea 
was black tea, without milk to color or sugar to sweetes 


it, and two tin dippers were our tea-cups. This bever- 
Bge is as indispensable to the loggers as to any gossiping 
old women in the land, and they, no doubt, derive great 
comfort from it. Here was the site of an old logger'a 
camp, riimembered by McCauslin, now overgi-own with 
weeds and bushes. In the midst of a dense underwood 
we noticed a whole brick, on a rock, in a small run, 
clean and red and square as in a brick-yard, which had 
been brought thus far formerly for tamping. Sora? of 
us afterward regretted that we had not carried this on 
with us to the lop of the mountain, to be left there for our 
mark. It would certainly have been a simple evidence of 
civilized man. McCauslin said, that large wooden crosses, 
made of oak, still sound, were sometimes found standing 
in this wilderness, which were set up by the first Catholic 
missionaries who came through to the Kennebec. 

In the next nine miles, which were the extent of our 
voyage, and which it took us the rest of the day to get 
over, we rowed across several small lakes, poled up nu- 
merous rapids and thoroughfares, and carried over four 
portages. I will give the names and distances, for the — -^r' 
benefit of future tourists. First, after leaving Ambejijis 
Lake, we had a quarter of a mile of rapids to the port- 
age, or carry of ninety rods around Ambejijis Falls ; 
then a mile and a half through Passamagamet Lake, 
which is narrow and river-like, to the falls of the same 
name, — Ambejijis stream coming in on the right; then 
two miles through Katepskonegan Lake to the portage 
01 ninety rods around Katepskonegan Falls, which namo 
signifies " carrying-place," — Passamagamet stream com- 
ing in on the left ; then three miles through Pockwocko- 
mus Lake, a slight expansion of the river, to the port- 
Bge of forty rods around the falls of the same name, — 



Katepskonegan stream coming in on the left ; then three 
quarters of a mile through Aboljacarmegus Lake, simi 
lar to the last, to the portage of forty rods around the 
falls of the same name ; then half a mile of rapid water 
to the Sowadnehunk dead-water, and the Aboljacknagesic 

This is generally the order of names as you ascend the 
river: First, the lake, or, if there is no expansion, the 
dead-water; then the falls; then the stream emptying 
into the lake, or river above, all of the same name. First 
we came to Passamagamet Lake, then to Passamagamet 
Falls, then to Passamagamet stream, emptying in. This 
order and identity of names, it will be perceived, is quite 
philosophical,' since the dead-water or lake is always at 
least partially produced by the stream emptying in above ; 
and the first fall below, which is the outlet of that lake, 
and where that tributary water makes its first plunge, 
also naturally bears the same name. 

At the portage around Ambejijis Falls I observed a 
pork-barrel on the shore, with a hole eight or nine inchej 
square cut in one side, which was set against an upright 
rock ; but the bears, without turning or upsetting the 
barrel, had gnawed a hole in the opposite side, which 
looked exactly like an enormous rat hole, big enough to 
put their heads in ; and at the bottom of the barrel wen 
still left a few mangled and slabbered slices of pork. I. 
»s usual for the lumberers to leave such supplies as Ihej 
cannot conveniently carry along with them at carries oi 
timps, to which the next comers do not scruple to helj. 
themselves, they being the property, commonly, not of 
tin individual, but a company, who can afford to den', 

I will describe particularly how we got over some o, 


tliese portages and rapids, in or der that the rcaderjgaay 
get an Jdea of the bo atman's life . At Ambejijis Falls, 
lor instance, there was the roughest path imaginable cut 
through the woods ; at first up hill, at an angle of nearly 
forty-five degrees, over rocks and logs without end. This 
was tiie manner of the portage. We first carried over 
our baggage, and deposited it on the shore at the other 
end ; then returning to the batteau, we dragged it up the 
hill by the painter, and onward, with frequent pauses, 
over half the portage. But this was a bungling way, 
an(i would soon have worn out the boat. Commonly, 
three men walk over with a batteau weighing from tliree 
to five or six hundred pounds on their heads and shoul- 
ders, the tallest standing under the middle of the boat, 
which is turned over, and one at each end, or else there 
are two at the bows. More cannot well take hold at 
once. But this requires some practice, as well as strength, 
and is in any case extremely laborious, and wearing to 
the constitution, to follow. "We were, on the whole, 
rather an invalid party, and could render our boatmen 
but little assistance. Our two men at length took the 
batteau upon their shoulders, and, while two of us steadied 
it, to prevent it from rocking and wearing into their 
shoulders, on which they [)laced their hats folded, walked 
bravely over the remaining distance, with two or three 
pauses. In the same manner they accomplished the 
otiier portages. Wiih tli's crushing weight lliey must 
climb and stumble along over fallen trees and slippery 
rocks of all sizes, wliere Miose who walked by the sides 
were continually bruslieu off, such was the narrowness 
of the path, lint we wci-e fortunate not to have to cut 
our path in the first place. Before we launched our 
boat, we scraped the bottom smooth again, with our 


knives, where it had rubbed on the rocks, tr save fric 

To avoid the diflBculties of the portage, our mtn detep« 
mined to " warp up " the Passamagaraet Falls ; so while 
the rest walked over the portage with the baggage, I re- 
mained in the batteau, to assist in warping up. We 
were soon in the midst of the rapids, which were more 
swift and tumultuous than any we had poled up, and had 
tur. f,d to the side of the stream for the purpose of warp* 
ing, Tuen the boatmen, who felt some pride in their skill, 
and were ambitious to do something more than usual, for 
my ')3nefit, as I surmised, took one more view of the 
rapidt^, or rather the falls ; and, in answer to our ques« 
tion, whether we couldn't get up there, the other an- 
swered that he guessed he 'd try it. So we pushed agam 
into the midst of the stream, and began to struggle witli 
the current. I sat in the middle of the boat to trim it, 
moving slightly to the right or left as it grazed a rock. 
With an uncertain and wavering motion we wound and 
bolted our way up, until the bow was actually raised two 
feet above the stern at the steepest pitch ; and then, when 
everything depended upon his exertions, the bowman's 
pole snapped in two ; but before he had time to take the 
spare one, which I reached him, he had saved himself 
with the fragment upon a rock ; and so we got up by a 
hair's breadth ; and Uncle George exclaimed that that 
was never done before, and he had not tried it if he had 
not known whom he had got in the bow, nor he in the 
bow, if he had not known him in the stem. At this 
pla« e there was a rej.tilar portage cut through the woo<U, 
vad Jur boatmen had never known a batteau to ascend 
the falls. As near as I can remt mber, there was a per 
pend'cular fall here, tt the worst place of the wiioU 


Penobscot River, two or three feet at least. I could not 
sufficiently admire the skill and coolness with which they 
perfoimed this feat, never speaking to each other. The 
bowman, not looking behind, but knowing exactly what 
tlie other is about, works as if he worked alone. Now 
sounding in vain for a bo..»om in fifteen feet of water, 
while the boat falls back several rods, held straight only 
with the greatest skill and exertion ; or, while the stern- 
nan obstinately holds his ground, like a turtle, the bow- 
aian springs from side to side with wonderful suppleness 
rtnd dexterity, scanning the rapids and the rocks with a 
thousand eyes ; and now, having got a bite at last, with 
a. lusty shove, which makes his pole bend and quiver, and 
ihe whole boat tremble, he gains a few feet upon the 
river. To add lo the danger, the poles are liable at any 
time to be caught between the rocks, and wrenched out 
of their hands, leaving them at the mercy of the rapids, 
— the rocks, as it were, lying in wait, like so many alli- 
gators, to catch them in their teeth, and jerk them from 
your hands, before you have stolen an effectual shove 
against their palates. The pole is set close to the boat, 
•and the prow is made to overshoot, and just turn the 
corners of the rocks, in the very teeth of the rapids. 
.Nothing but the length and lightness, and the slight 
draught of the batteau, enables them to make any head- 
way. The bowman must quickly choose his course ; 
there is no time to deliberate. Frequently the boat ij 
shoved LetA'cen rocks where both sides touch, and the 
waters on either hand are a perfect maelstrom. 

Half a mile above this, two of us tried our hands at 
pDling up a sliglit rap'd ; and we were just surmounting 
the last difficulty when an unlucky rock confounded our 
calculations ; and while the batteau was sweeping roun^^ 


irrecoverably amid the whirlpool, we were obliged to 
resign the poles to n:ore skilful hands. 

Katepskonegan is oue of the shallowest and weediest 
of the lakes, and looked as if it might abound in pick 
ercL The falls of the same name, where we stopped to 
dire, are considerable and quite picturesque. Here Un- 
cle George had seen trout caught by the barrelful ; but 
they would not rise to our bait at this hour. Half-way 
over this carry, thus far in the Maine wilderness on ita 
way to the Provinces, we noticed a large, flaming, Oak 
Hall hand-bill, about two feet long, wrapped round the 
trunk of a pine, from which the bark had been stript, 
and to which it was fast glued by the pitch. This should 
be recorded among the advantages of this mode of ad- 
vertising, that so, possibly, even the bears and wolves, 
moose, deer, otter, and beaver, not to mention the Indian, 
may learn where they can fit themselves according to the 
latest fashion, or, at least, recover some of their own lost 
garments. "VVe christened this, the Oak Hall carry. 

The forenoon was as serene and placid on this wild 
stream in the woods, as we are apt to imagine that Sun'- 
day in summer usually is in Massachusetts. We were 
occasionally startled by the scream of a bald-eagle, sail- 
ing over the stream in front of our batteau ; or of the 
fish-hawks, on whom he levies his contributions. There 
were, at intervals, small meadows of a few acres on the 
sides of the stream, waving with uncut grass, which at- 
tracted the attention of our boatmen, who regretted that 
they were not nearer to their clearings, and calculated 
how many stacks they might cut. Two or three men 
Bomotimes «pend the summer by themselves, cutting tlie 
grass in these meadows, to sell to the loggers in the win 
ter, since il will fetch a In'gher price on the spot than ia 


any niaiket in the State. On a small isle, covered with 
this kind of rush, or cut grass, on which we landed, to con 
suit about our further course, we noticed the recent track 
of a moose, a large, roundish hole, in the soft wet ground, 
evincing Ihe great size and weight of the animal that 
made it. They are fond of the water, and visit all these 
island-meadows, swimming as easily from island to island 
as they make their way through the thickets on land. 
Now and then we passed what McCaui^lin called a poke- 
logan, an Indian term for what the drivers might have 
reason to call a poke-logs -in, an inlet that leads nowhere. 
If you get in, you have got to get out again the same 
way. These, and the frequent " run-rounds " which come 
into the river again, would embarrass an inexperienced 
voyager not a little. 

The carry around Pockwockomus Falls was exceed- 
ingly rough and rocky, the batteau having to be lifted 
directly from the water up four or five feet on to a rock, 
and launched again down a similar bank. The rocks on 
this portage were covered with the dents made by the 
spikes in the lumberers' boots while staggering over 
under the weight of their batteaux ; and you could see 
where tlie surface of,some large rocks on which they 
had rested their batteaux was worn quite smooth with 
use. As it was, we tiad carried over but half the usual 
portage at this place for this stage of the water, and 
launched our boat in the smooth wave just curving to 
the fall, prepared to struggle with the most violent rapid 
we had to encounter. The rest of the party walked over 
the remainder of the portage, while I remained with the 
boatmen to assist in warping up. Oje had to hold the 
boat while the others got in to ]'revent it from goin? 
»ver the falls. When we had pushed up the rapids as 


far as possible, keeping close to the shore, Tom seized 
the painter and leaped out upon a rock just visible in 
the water, but he lost his footing, notwithstanding hit 
spiked boots, an«l was instantly amid the rapids ; but 
recovering himself by good luck, and reaching anothei 
rock, he passed the painter to me, who had foUoweir 
him, and took his place again in the bows. Leapng 
frora rock to rock in the shoal water, close to the sh >ie. 
and now and then getting a bite with the rope round aii 
upright one, I held the boat while one reset his pole, 
and then all three forced it upward against any rapid. 
This was " warping up." When a part of us walked 
round at such a place, we generally took the precaution 
to take out the most valuable part of the baggage, for 
fear of being swamped. 

As we poled up a swift rapid for half a mile above 
Aboljacarraegus Falls, some of the party read their own 
marks on the huge logs which lay piled up high and dry 
on the rocks on either hand, the relics probably of a jam 
which had taken place here in the Great Freshet in the 
spring. Many of these would have to wait for anothei 
great freshet, perchance, if they lasted so long, before 
they could be got off. It was singular enough to meet 
with property of theirs which they had never seen, and 
where they had never been before, thus detained by 
freshets and rocks when on its way to them. Methinks 
(hat must be where all my property lies, cast up on the 
rocks on some distant and unexplored stream, and wait- 
ing for an unheard-of freshet to fetch it down. O make 
haste, ye gods, with your winds and rains, and start the 
jam be^'u-e it rots! 

Th'j last half-mile carried us to the Sowadnehuni 
iead-<iater, so called from the stream of the same nam-i 


signifying "running between mountains," an important 
tributary which comes in a mile above. Here we de- 
cided to camp, about twenty miles from the Dam, at the 
mouth of Murch Brook and the Aboljacknagesic, moun- 
tain streams, broad off from Ktaadn, and about a dozen 
miles from its summit ; having made fifteen miles this 

"We had been told by McCauslin that we should hero 
find trout enough : so, while some prepared the camp, 
the rest fell to fishing. Seizing the birch-poles which 
some party of Indians, or white hunters, had left on the 
shore, and baiting our hooks with pork, and with trout, 
as soon as they were caught, we cast our lines into thf 
mouth of the Aboljacknagesic, a clear, swift, shallow 
stream, which came in from Ktaadn. Instantly a shoai 
of white chivin (Lcucisci pulchelli), silvery roaches, 
cousin-trout, or what not, large and small, prowling 
thereabouts, fell upon our bait, and one after another 
were landed amidst the bushes. Anon their cousins, 
the true trout, took their turn, and alternately the 
speckled trout, and the silvery roaches, swallowed the 
bait as fast as we could throw in ; and the finest speci- 
mens of both that I have ever seen, the largest one 
weighing three pounds, were heaved upon the shore, 
though at first in vain, to wriggle down into the water 
again, for we stood in the boat ; but soon we learned to 
remedy this evil: for one, who had lost his hook, stood 
on shore to catch them as they fell in a perfect shower 
jiround him, — sometimes, wet and slippery, full in hi? 
face and bosom, as his arms were outstretched to receive 
I hem. While yet alive, before their tints had faded, 
Ihey glistened like the fairest flowers, the product of 
primitive rivers ; and he could hardly trust his senses. 


as he stood over them, that these jewels should hava 
swam away in that Aboljacknagesic water for so long 
80 many dark ages ; — these bright fluviatile flowers, 
seen of Indians only, made beautiful, the Lord only 
knows why, to swim there ! I could understand better 
for this, the truth of mythology, the fables of Proteus, 
and all those beautiful sea-monsters, — how all history, 
indeed, put to a terrestrial use, is mere history; but 
^ut to a celestial, is mythology always. 

But there is the rough voice of Uncle George, who 
x'^ommands at the frying-pan, to send over what you 've 
got, and then you may stay till morning. The pork 
sizzles, and cries for fish. Luckily for the foolish race, 
and this particularly foolish generation of trout, the 
night shut down at last, not a little deepened by the 
dark side of Ktaadn, which, like a permanent shadow, 
reared itself from the eastern bank. Lescarbot, writing 
in 1609, tells us that the Sieur Champdore, who, with 
one of the people of the Sieur de Monts, ascended some 
fifty leagues up the St. John in 1608, found the fish so 
plenty, " qu'en mettant la chaudiere sur le feu ils en avoi- 
ent pris suffisamment pour eux disner avant que I'eau fust 
chaude." Their descendants here are no less numerous. 
So we accompanied Tom into the woods to cut cedar- 
twigs for our bed. While he went ahead with the axe, 
and lopt off the smallest twigs of the flat-leaved cedar, 
tlie arbor-vitas of the gardens, we gathered them up, 
and returned with them to the boat, until it was loaded. 
Our bed was made with as much care and skill as a 
roof is shingled ; beginning at the foot, and laying the 
twig end of the cedar upward, we advanced to the 
fcead, a course at a time, thus successively covering ilie 
Mub-ends, and producing a soft and level bed. For i> 


BIX it was about ten feet long bj' six in breadth. This 
time we lay under our tent, having pitched it more pru- 
dently with reference to the wind and the flame, and the 
usual huge lire blazed in front. Supper was eaten off 
a largo log, which some Ireshet had thrown up. This 
night we had a dish of arbor-vita), or cedai'-tea, which the 
lumberer sometimes uses when other herbs fail, — 

" A quart of arbor-vit£E, 
To make him strong and mighty," 

but I had no wish to repeat the experiment. It had 
too medicinal a taste for my palate. There was the 
skeleton of a moose here, whose bones some Indian 
hunters had picked on this very spot. 

In the night I dreamed of trout-fishing ; and, when at 
length I awoke, it seemed a fable that this painted fish 
swam there so near my couch, and rose to our hooks the 
last evening, and I doubted if I had not dreamed it all. 
So I arose before dawn to test its truth, while my com- 
panions were still sleeping. There stood Ktaadn with 
distinct and cloudless outline in the moonlight ; and the 
rippling of the rapids was the only sound to break the 
stillness. Standing on the shore, I once more cast my 
lino into the stream, and found the dream to be real and 
the fable true. The speckled trout and silvery roach, 
like flying-fish, sped swiftly through the moonlight air. 
describing bright arcs on the dark side of Ktaadn, until 
moonlight, now fading into daylight, brought satiety to 
my mind, and the minds of my companions, who had 
joined me. 

By six o'clock, having mounted our packs and a good 
blanketful of trout, ready dressed, and swung up such 
baggage and provision as we wished to leave behind, upon 
<he tops of saplings, to be out of the reach of bears, wa 


Started for the summit of the mountain, distant, as Unci*, 
George said the boatmen called it, about four miles, bul 
as I judged, and as it proved, nearer fourteen. He had 
never been any nearer the mountain than this, and there 
was not the slightest trace of man to guide us farther in 
this direction. At first, pushing a few rods up the Abol- 
jacknagesic, or "open-land stream," we fastened our 
baiteau to a tree, and travelled up the north side, through 
burnt lands, now partially overgrown with young aspens, 
nnd other shrubbery; but soon, recrossing this stream, 
where it was about fifty or sixty feet wide, upon a jam 
of logs and rocks, — and you could cross it by this means 
almost anywhere, — we struck at once for the highest 
peak, over a mile or more of comparatively open land, still 
very gradually ascending the while. Here it fell to my 
lot, as the oldest mountain-climber, to take the lead. So, 
scanning the woody side of the mountain, which lay still 
at an indefinite distance, stretched out some seven or 
eight miles in length before us, we determined to steer 
directly for the base of the highest peak, leaving a large 
slide, by which, as I have since learned, some of our 
predecessors ascended, on our left. This course would 
lead us parallel to u dark seam in the forest, which 
marked the bed of a torrent, and over a slight spur, 
which extended southward from the main mountain, from 
whose bare summit we could get an outlook over the 
country, and climb directly up the peak, which would 
then be close at hand. Seen from this point, a bare 
ridge at the extremity of the open land, Ktaadn present- 
ed a different aspect from any mountain I have seeri, 
there being a greater proportion of naked rock rising 
abruptly from the forest ; and we looked up at this blue 
barrier as if it were some fragment of a wall winch 


anciently bounded the earth in that direction. Setting 
the compass for a northeast course, which was the bear- 
ing of the southern base of the highest peak, we were 
Boon buried in the woods. 

We soon began to meet with traces of bears and 
moose, and those of rabbits were everywhere visible. 
The tracks of moose, more or less recent, to speak liter- 
ally, covered every square rod on the sides of the moun- 
tain ; and these animals are probably more numerous 
there now than ever before, being driven into this wilder- 
ness, from all sides, by the settlements. The track of a 
full-grown moose is like that of a cow, or larger, and of 
the young, like that of a calf. Sometimes we found our- 
selves travelling in faint paths, which they had made, 
like cow-paths in the woods, only far more indistinct, 
being rather openings, aflfording imperfect vistas through 
the dense underwood, than tiodden paths; and every- 
where the twigs had been browsed by them, dipt as 
smoothly as if by a knife. The bark of trees was stript 
up by them to the height of eight or nine feet, in long, 
nar.ow strips, an inch wide, still showing the distinct 
maiks of their teeth. We expected nothing less than to 
me^t a herd of them every moment, and our Nimrod 
held his shooting-iron in readiness; but we did not go 
out of our way to look for them, and, though numerous, 
ihey are so wary that the unskilful hunter might range 
the forest a long time before he could get sight of one. 
They are sometimes dangerous to encounter, and will 
i.ot turn out for the hunter, but furiously rush upon him 
and trample him to death, unless he is lucky enough to 
avoid them by dodging round a tree. The largest are 
yearly as large as a horse, and weigh sometimes one thou- 
Vuad pounds ; and it is said that tliey can step over a five- 


feet gate in their ordinary walk. They are described as 
exceedingly awkward-looking animals, with their long legi 
and short bodies, making a ludicrous figure when in full 
run, but making great headway nevertheless. It seemed 
a mystery to us how they could thread these woods, 
which it required all our suppleness to accomplish, — 
climbing, stooping, and winding, alternately. They are 
said to drop their long and branching horns, which 
usually spread five or six feet, on their backs, and make 
their way easily by the weight of their bodies. Our 
boatmen said, but I know not with how much truth, that 
their horns are apt to be gnawed away by vermin while 
they sleep. Their flesh, which is more like beef than 
venison, is common in Bangor market. 

We had proceeded on thus seven or eight miles, till 
about noon, with frequent pauses to refresh the weary 
ones, crossing a considerable mountain stream, which we 
conjectured to be Murch Brook, at whose mouth we had 
camped, all the time in woods, without having once seen 
the summit, and rising very gradually, when the boat- 
men, beginning to despair a little, and fearing that we 
were leaving the mountain on one side of us, for they 
had not entire faith in the compass, McCauslin climbed a 
tree, from the top of which he could see the peak, when 
it appeared that we had not swerved from a right line, 
the compass down below still ranging with his arm, which 
pointed to the summit. By the side of a cool mountain 
rill, amid the woods, where the water began to partake 
of the purity and transparency of the air, we stopped to 
cook some of our fishes, which we had brought thus far 
in order to save our hard bread and pork, in the use of 
which we had put ourselves on short allowance. "We 
noon had a fire blazin":, and stood around it. under tli« 


ilamp and sombre forest of firs and birches, eAah with a 
sl.arpened stick, three or four feet in lengtli, upon which 
he had spitted his trout, or roach, previously well gashed 
and salted, our sticks radiating like the spokes of a wheel 
from one centre, and each crowding his particular fish 
irto the most desirable exposure, not with the truest re- 
gaivl always to his neighbor's rights. Thus we regaled 
ourselves, drinking meanwhile at the spring, till one 
man's pack, at least, was considerably lightened, when 
we again took up our line of march. 

At length we reached an elevation sufficiently bare to 
afford a view of the summit, still distant and blue, almost 
as if retreating from us. A torrent, which proved to be 
the same we had crossed, was seen tumbling down in 
front, literally from out of the clouds. But this glimpse 
at our whereabouts was soon lost, and we were buried in 
the woods again. The wood was chiefly yellow birch, 
spruce, fir, mountain-ash, or round-wood, as the Maine 
people call it, and moose-wood. It was the worst kind 
of travelling ; sometimes like the densest scrub-oak 
patches with us. The cornel, or bunch-berries, were 
very abundant, as well as Solomon's seal and moose- 
berries. Blueberries were distributed along our whole 
route ; and in one place the bushes were drooping with 
the weight of the fruit, still as fresh as ever. It was 
the 7th of September. Such patches afforded a grate- 
ful repast, and served to bait the tired party forward. 
When any lagged behind, the cry of " blueberries " was 
most effectual to bring them up. Even at this elevation 
we passed through a moose-yard, formed by a large flat 
rock, four or five rods square, where they tread down 
the snow in winter. At length, fearing that if we held 
the dii ect course to the summit, we should r ot find any 


water near our camping-ground, we gradually swerved 
to the west, till, at four o'clock, we struck again the tor- 
rent which 1 have mentioned, and here, in view of the 
Bummit, the weary party decided to camp that night. 

While my companions were seeking a suitable spot 
for this purpose, I improved the little daylight that waa 
left, in climbing the mountain alone. We were in a deep 
ani narrow ravine, sloping up to the clouds, at an angle 
of nearly forty-five degrees, and hemmed in by walls of 
rock, which were at first covered with low trees, then 
with impenetrable thickets of scraggy birches and spruce- 
trees, and with moss, but at last bare of all vegetation 
but lichens, and almost continually draped in clouds. 
Following up the course of the torrent which occupied 
lliis, — and I mean to lay some emphasis on this word 
wjt), — pulling myself up by the side of perpendicular 
falls of twenty or thirty feet, by the roots of firs and 
birches, and then, perhaps, walking a level rod or two in 
the thin stream, for it took up the whole road, ascending 
by huge steps, as it were, a giant's stairway, down which 
a river flowed, I had soon cleared the trees, and paused 
on the successive shelves, to look back over the country. 
The torrent was from fifteen to thirty feet wide, without 
a tributary, and seemingly not diminishing in breadth as 
I advanced ; but still it came rushing and roaring down, 
with a copious tide, over and amidst masses of bare rock, 
from the very clouds, as though a waterspout had just 
burst over the mountain. Leaving this at last, I began 
to work my way, scarcely less arduous than Satan's an- 
ciently through Ciiaos, up the nearest, though not the 
highest peak. At first scrambling on all fours over the 
lops of ancient black spruce-trees (Abies nigra), old as 
the flood, from two to ten or twelve feet in height, theif 

KT VADN. 61 

lops fbf and spreading, and their foliage blue, and nipt 
with told, as if for centuries they had ceased growing 
upward against the bleak sky, the solid cold. I walked 
«ome good rods erect upon the tops of these trees, which 
were overgrown with moss and mountain-cranberries. 
It seemed that in the course of time they had filled up 
the intervals between the huge rocks, and the cold wind 
had uniformly levelled all over. Here the principle of 
venetation was hard put to it. There was apparentlj 
a belt of this kind running quite round the mountain 
though, perhaps, nowhere so remarkable as here. Once 
slumping through, I looked down ten feet, into a dar) 
and cavernous region, and saw the stem of a spruce, oj 
whose top I stood, as on a mass of coarse basket-wort 
fully nine inches in diameter at the ground. Thes' 
holes were bears' dens, and the bears were even ther 
at home. This was the sort of garden I made my way 
over, for an eighth of a mile, at the risk, it is true, of 
treading on some of the plants, not seeing any pati 
through it, — certainly the most treacherous and porou 
corntry I ever travelled. 

•' Nigh foundered on he fares, 
Treading the crude consistence, half on foot., 
Half flying." 

But nothing could exceed the toughness of the twigs, — 
not one snapped under my weight, for they had slowly 
grown. Having slumped, scrambled, rolled, bounced, 
and walked, by turns, over this scraggy country, I ar- 
rived upon a side-h'U. or rather side-mountain, where 
rocks, gray, silent rocks, were the flocks and herds that 
pastured, chewing a rocky cud at sunset. They looked 
Ht me with hard gray eyes, without a bleat or a low. 
Vhis brought me to the skirt of a cloud, and bounded 


my walk that night. But I had already seen that Maine 
country when I turned about, waving, flowing, rippling, 
down below. 

When I returned to my companions, they had select* 
ed a camping-ground on the torrent's edge, and were 
resting on the ground ; one was on the sick list, rolled 
in a blanket, on a damp shelf of rock. It was a savag3 
*nd dreary scenery enough ; so wildly rough, that they 
looked long to find a level and open space for the tent. 
We could not well camp higher, for want of fuel ; and 
the trees here seemed so evergreen and sappy, that we 
almost doubted if they would acknowledge the influence 
of fire ; but fire prevailed at last, and blazed here, too, 
like a good citizen of the world. Even at this height 
we met with frequent traces of moose, as well as of 
bears. As here was no cedar, we made our bed of 
coarser feathered spruce ; but at any rate the feathers 
were plucked from the live tree. It was, perhaps, even 
a more grand and desolate place for a night's lodging 
than the summit would have been, being in the neigh- 
borhood of those wild trees, and of the torrent. Some 
more aerial and finer-spirited winds rushed and roared 
through the ravine all night, from time to time arousing 
our fire, and dispersing the embers about. It was as if 
we lay in the very nest of a young whirlwind. At mid- 
night, one of my bedfellows, being startled in his dreams 
by the sudden blazing up to its top of a fir-tree, whose 
green boughs were dried by the heat, sprang up, with a 
cry, from his bed, thinking the world on fire, and drew 
the whole camp after him. 

In the morning, after whetting our appetite on some 
raw pork, a wafer of hard bread, and a dipper of con« 
lensed cloud or waterspout, we all together began t« 


Didke our way u\) the falls, which I have described ; this 
time choosing the right hand, or higiiest peak, which was \^ 

not the one I had approached befbre.\\ But soon my S-t^*~^ 
companions were lost to my sight beliind the mountain 
ridge in my rear, which still seemed ever retreating bo 
fore me, and I climbed alone over huge rocks, loosely 
poised, a mile or more, still edging toward the clouds ; 
for though the day was clear elsewhere, the summit was 
concealed by mist. Tlie mountain seemed a vast aggre- 
gation of loose rocks, as if some time it had rained rocks, 
and they lay as tliey fell on the mountain sides, nowhere 
fairly at rest, but leaning on each other, all rocking- 
stones, with cavities between, but scarcely any soil or 
smoother shelf. They were the raw materials of a 
planet dropped from an unseen quarry, which the vast 
chemistry of nature would anon work up, or work down, 
into the smiling and verdant plains and valleys of earth. 
This was an undone extremity of the globe ; as in lignite,— 
we see coal in the process of formation. 

At length I entered within the skirts of the cloud 
whicli seemed forever drifting over the summit, and yet 
would never be gone, but was generated out of that 
pure air as fast as it flowed away ; and when, a quarter 
of a mile farther, I reached the summit of the ridge, 
which those who have seen in clearer weather say ia 
about five miles long, and contains a thousand acres of 
table-land, I was deep within the hostile ranks of clouds, 
and all objects were obscured by them. Now the wind 
would blow me out a yard of clear sunlight, wherein I 
k-tood ; then a gray, dawning light was all it could ao- 
oomplish, the cloud-line ever rising and falling with the 
irind's intensity. Sometimes it oeemed as if the summit 
*oul<l be cleared in a few moments, and smile in sun- 



Bhine : but Avhat was gained on one side was lost on 
another. It was like sitting in a chimney and waiting 
for the smoke to blow away. It was, in fact, a : loud- 
factory, — these were the cloud-works, and the wind 
turned tliem ofif done from the cool, bare rocks. Occa- 
Bionally, when the windy columns broke in to me, I 
caught sight of a dark, damp crag to the right or It ft ; 
the mist driving ceaselessly between it and me. It re- 
minded me of the creations of the old epic and dramatic 
poets, of Atlas, Vulcan, the Cyclops, and Prometheus. 
Such was Caucasus and the rock where Prometheus was 
bound. iEschylus had no doubt visited such sceneiy as 
this. It was vast. Titanic, and such as man never in- 
habits. ' Some part of the beholder, even some vital 
^^ part, seems to escape through the loose grating of his 
ribs as he ascends. He is more lone than you can 
imagine. There is less of substantial thought and fair 
understanding in him, than in the plains where men 
inhabit. His reason is dispersed and shadowy, more 
thin and subtile, like the air. Vast, Titanic, inhuman 
Nature has got him at disadvantage, caught him alone, 
and pilfers him of some of his divine faculty. She 
does not smile on him as in the plains. She seems to 
say sternly, why came ye here before your time ? This 
ground is not prepared tor you. Is it not enough that I 
smile in the valleys ? I have never made this soil for 
thy feet, this air for thy breathing, these rocks for thy 
neighbors. I cannot pity nor fondle thee here, but for- 
ever rele.itlessly drive thee hence to where I am kind. 
Why seek me where I have not culled thee, and then 
complain because you find me but a stepmother? 
Shouldst thou freeze or starve, or shudder thy life 
4way, here is no ,-hrine, iior altar, nor any access t9 
ny car 


Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy 
With purpose to explore or to disturb 
The secrets of your reahn, but . . . 

as my way 

Lies through your spacious empire up to lighl " 

The tops of mountains are among tlif "nfit-ished parta 
tF the globe, whither it is a slight insult to tLo gods to 
climb and pry into their secrets, and try their effect on 
our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, per 
chance, go there. Simple races, as savages, do not 
climb mountains, — their tops are sacred and mysterious 
tracts never visited by them. Pomola is always angry 
with those who climb to the summit of Ktaadn. 

According to Jackson, who, in his capacity of geologi- 
cal surveyor of the State, has accurately measured it, — 
the altitude of Ktaadn is 5,300 feet, or a little more 
than one mile above the level of the sea, — and he adds, 
" It is then evidently the highest point in the State of 
Maine, and is the most abrupt granite mountain in New 
England." The peculiarities of that spacious table-laud 
on which I was standing, as well as the remarkable 
semi-circular precipice or basin on the eastern side, 
were all concealed by the mist. I had brought my 
whole pack to the top, not knowing but I should have 
to make my descent to the river, and possibly to the 
settled portion of the State alone, and by some other 
route, and wishing to have a complete outfit with me. 
But at length, fearing that my companions would be 
anxious to reach the river before night, and knowing 
that the clouds might rest on the mountain for days, I 
was compelled to descend. Occasionally, as I came 
down, the wind would blow me a vista open, through 
which I could see the country eastward, boundless foi* 


esLs, and lakes, and streams, gleaming in the sun, some 
of them emptying into the East Branch. There were 
also new mountains in sight in that direction. Now and 
then some small bird of the sparrow family would flit 
away before me, unable (o command its course, like a 
fragment of the gray rock blown off by the wind. 

I found my companions where I had left them, on the 
side of the peak, gathering the mountain cranberries, 
which filled every crevice between the rocks, together 
with blueberries, which had a spicier flavor the higher 
up they grew, but were not the less agreeable to our 
palates. When the country is settled, and roads are 
made, these cranberries will perhaps become an article 
of commerce. From this elevation, just on the skirts of 
the clouds, Ave could overlook the country, west and 
south, for a hundred miles. There it was, the State of 
Maine, which we had seen on the map, but not much 
like that, — immeasurable forest for the sun to shine on, 
that eastern stuff we hear of in Massachusetts. No 
clearing, no house. It did not look as if a solitary trav- 
eller had cut so much as a walking-stick there. Count- 
less lakes, — Moosehead in the southwest, forty miles 
long by ten wide, like a gleaming silver platter at the 
end of the table; Chesuncook, eighteen long by three 
wide, without an island ; Millinocket, on the south, wita 
its hundred islands ; and a hundred others without a 
name ; and mountains also, whose names, for the most 
part, are known only to the Indians. The forest looked 
hke a firm grass sward, and the effect of these lakes in 
its midst has been well compared, by one who has since 
visited this same spot, to that of a " mirror broken into a 
thousand fragments, and wildly scattered over the gras.s, 
reflecting the full blaze of the sun." It was a lare? 


farm for somebody, when cleared. According to the 
Gazetteer, which was printed before the boundary ques- 
tion was settled, this single Penobscot county, in which 
we were, was larger than the whole State of Vermont, 
with its fourteen counties ; and this was only a part of 
the wild lands of Maine. We are concerned now, how- 
ever, about natural, not political limits. "We were about 
eighty miles, as the bird flies, from Bangor, or one hun- 
dred and fifteen, as we had rode, and walked, and pad- 
dled. We had to console ourselves with the reflection 
that this view was probably as good as that from the 
peak, as far as it went ; and what were a mountain with- 
out its attendant clouds and mists ? Like ourselves, 
neither Bailey nor Jackson had obtained a clear view 
from the summit. 

Setting out on our return to the river, still at an early 
hour in the day, we decided to follow the course of the 
torrent, which we supposed to be Murch Brook, as long 
us it would not lead us too far out of our way. We thus 
travelled about four miles in the very torrent itself, con- 
tinually crossing and recrossing it, leaping from rock to 
rock, and jumping with the stream down falls of seven 
or eight feet, or sometimes sliding down on our backs in 
a thin sheet of water. This ravine had been the scent 
of an extraordinary freshet in the spring, apparently ac- 
companied by a slide from the mountain. It must have 
been filled with a stream of stones and water, at least 
twenty feet above the present level of the torrent. For 
a rod or two, on eitlier side of its channel, tlie trees were 
barked and splintered up to their tops, the birches beni 
over, twisted, and sometimes finely split, like a stable- 
broom ; some, a foot in diameter, snajiped off, and whole 
flumps of trees bent over with the weight of rocks piled 


on them. In one place we noticed a rock, two or three 
feet in diameter, lodged nearly twenty feet high in the 
crotch of a tree. For the whole four miles, Ave saw but 
one rill emptying in, and the volume of water did not 
Beem to he increased from the first. We travelled thus 
very rapidly with a downward impetus, and grew re- 
markably expert at leaping from rock to rock, for lenp 
we must, and leap we did, whether there was any rock 
at thi right distance or not. It was a pleasant picture 
wbon the foremost turned about and looked up the wind- 
ing ravine, walled in with rocks and the green forest, to 
see, at intervals of a rod or two, a red-shirted or green- 
jacketed mountaineer against the white torrent, leaping 
down the channel with his pack on his back, or pausing 
upon a convenient rock in the midst of the torrent to 
mend a rent in his clothes, or unstrap the dipper at hia 
belt to take a draught of the water. At one place we 
were startled by seeing, on a little sandy shelf by the 
side of the stream, the fresh print of a man's foot, and 
for a moment realized how Robinson Crusoe felt in a 
similar case ; but at last we remembered that we had 
struck this stream on our way up, though we could not 
have told where, and one had descended into the ravine 
for a drink. Tlie cool air above, and the continual 
bathing of our bodies in mountain water, alternate foot, 
sitz, douche, and plunge baths, made this walk exceed- 
ingly refreshing, and we had travelled only a mile or 
two, after leaving the torrent, before every thread of our 
clothes was as dry as usual, owing perhaps to a peculiar 
r|ualit7 in the atmosphere. 

After leaving the torrent, being in doubt about oui 
course, Tom threw down his j)ack at the foot of the lot 
Oest spruce trc*. at hand, and shinred up the bare trunk. 


lorae twenty feet, and then climbed through the green 
tower, lost to our sight, until he held the topmost spray 
in his hand.* McCauslin, in his younger days, had 
mHrched through the wilderness with a body of troops, 
under General Somebody, and with one other man did all 
the scouting and spying service. Tiie General's word 
was, " Throw down the top of that tree," and there was no 
tree in the Maine woods so high that it did not lose its 
top in such a case. I have heard a story of two men 
being lost once in these woods, nearer to the settlements 
than this, who climbed the loftiest pine they could find, 
some six feet in diameter at the ground, from whose 
top they discovered a solitary clearing and its smoke. 
When at this height, some two hundred feet from the 
ground, one of them became dizzy, and fainted in his 
companion's Arms, and tiie latter had to accomplish the 
descent with him, alternately fainting and reviving, as 
best he could. To Tom we cried. Where away does the 
summit bear? where the burnt lands? The last he 
could only conjecture ; he descried, however, a little 
meadow and pond, lying probably in our course, which 
we concluded to steer for. On reaching this secluded 
meadow, we found fresh tracks of moose on the shore of 
the pond, and the water was still unsettled as if they had 
lied before us. A little farther, in a dense thicket, we 

• " The spruce-tree," says Springer in '51, " is generally selected, 
principally for the superior facilities which its numerous limbs af- 
ford the climber. To gain the first limbs of this tree, which are from 
twenty to forty feet from the ground, a smaller tree is undercut and 
lodged against it, clambering up which the top of the spruce is 
teached. In some cases, when a very elevated position is desired, 
the spruce-tree is lodged against the trunk of some lofty pine, up 
nrhich we ascend to a height twice that of the surrouiicing forest." 

To indicate the direction of pines, he throws down a branch- and 
ft miin at the j^ound takes thn bearing. 


seemed to be still on their trail. It was a small meadow, 
of a few acres, on the mountain side, concealed by the 
forest, and perhaps never seen by a white man before, 
where one would think that the moose might browse and 
bathe, and rest in peace. Pursuing this course, we soon 
reached the open land, which went sloping down some 
miles toward the Penobscot. 

Perhaps I most fully realized that this was primeval, 
uutamed, and forever untameable Nature, or whatever 
else men call it, while coming down this part of the 
mountain. We were passing over " Burnt Lands," 
burnt by lightning, perchance, though they showed no 
recent marks of fire, hardly so much as a charred stump, 
but looked rather like a natural pasture for the moose 
and deer, exceedingly wild and desolate, with occasional 
strips of timber crossing them, and low poplars springing 
up, and patches of blueberries here and there. I Ibund 
myself traversing them familiarly, like some pasture run 
to waste, or partially reclaimed by* man ; but when I 
reflected what man, what brother or sister or kinsman of 
our race made it and claimed it, I expected the propri- 
etor to rise up and dispute my passage. It is difficult to 
conceive of a region uninhabited by man. We habitu- 
ally presume his presence and influence everywhere. 
And yet we have not seen pure Nature, unless we have 
seen her thus vast and drear and inhuman, though in 
the midst of cities. Nature was here something savage 
and awful, though beautiful. I looked with awe at the 
ground 1 trod on, to see what the Powers had made 
there, the form and fashion and material of their wort 
This was that Earth of which we have heard, made ouf 
of Chaos and Old Night. Here was no man's garden, 
>ut the nnhandselled globe. It wa« not lawn, nor pa* 


lure, nor mead, nor woodland, nor lea, nor arable, nor 
waste-land. It was the fresh and natural surface of the 
planet Earth, as it was made for ever and ever, — to be 
the dwelling of man, we say, — so Nature made it, and 
man may use it if he can. Man was not to be associ- 
ated with it. It was Matter, vast, terrific, — not hia 
Mother Earth that we have heard of, not for him to 
tread on, or be buried in, — no, it were being too famil- 
iar even to let his bones lie there, — the home, this, of 
Necessity and Fate. There was there felt the presence 
of a force not bound to be kind to man. It was a place 
for heathenism and superstitious rites, — to be inhabited 
by men nearer of kin to the rocks and to wild animals 
than we. We walked over it with a certain awe, stop- 
ping, from time to time, to pick the blueberries which 
grew there, and had a smart and spicy taste. Perchance 
where our wild pines stand, and leaves lie on their forest 
floor, in Concord, there were once reapers, and husband- 
men planted grain ; but here not even the surface had 
been scarred by man, but it was a specimen of what 
God saw fit to make this world. What is it to be ad- 
mitted to a museum, to see a myriad of particular things, 
compared with being shown some star's surface, some 
hard matter in its home ! I stand in awe of my body, 
this matter to which I am bound has become so strange 
to me. I fear not spirits, ghosts, of which I am one, •— 
^hat my body might, — but I fear bodies, I tremble to 
meet them. What is this Titan that has possession of 
me ? Talk of mysteries ! — Think of our life in nature, 

— daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, 

— rocks, trees, wind on onr cheeks ! the solid (;arth 1 
the actual world. ! the common sense ! Contact ! Con- 
]a^t! Wlio are W3? where are we? ^ 


Erelong we recognized some rocks and other features 
in the landscape which we had purposely impressed on 
our memories, and, quickening our pace, by two o'clock 
we reached the batteau.* Here we had expected to 
dine on trout, but in this glaring sunlight they were slow 
to take the bait, so we were compelled to make the most 
of the crumbs of our hard bread and our pork, which 
wtre botli nearly exhausted. Meanwhile we deliberated 
whether we should go up the river a mile farther, to 
Gibson's clearing, on the Sowadnehunk, where there waa 
a deserted log-hut, in order to get a half-inch auger, to 
mend one of our spike-poles with. There were young 
spruce-trees enough around us, and we had a spare 
spike, but nothing to make a hole with. But as it was 
uncertain whether we should find any tools left there, 
we patched up the broken pole, as well as we could, for 
the downward voyage, in which there would be but little 
use for it. Moreover, we were unwilling to lose any 
time in this expedition, lest the wiiid should rise before 
we reached the larger lakes, and detain us ; for a moder- 
ate wind produces quite a sea on these waters, in which 
a batteau will not live for a moment ; and on one occa- 
sion McCauslin had been delayed a week at the head of 
the North Twin, which is only four miles across. We 
were nearly out of provisions, and ill prepared in this 
.-espcct for what might possibly prove a week's journey 
round by the shore, fording innumerable streams, and 
threading a trackless forest, should any accident happen 
to our boat. 

It was with regret that we turned our backs on Che- 

* The bears bad not touched things on our possessions. They 
lometimes tear a batteau to pieces for the sake of the tar witli which 
U i ) besmeared. 


luncook, which McCauslin had formerly logged on, and 
the AUcgash lakes. There were still longer rapids and 
portages above ; among the last the Rippogenus Port- 
age, which he described as the most difficult on the 
river, and three miles long. The whole length of the 
Penobscot is two hundred and seventy-five miles, and 
VkB aro still nearly one hundred miles from its source. 
Hodg», the assistant State Geologist, passed up this 
river ir. 1837, and by a portage of only one mile and 
three-quarters crossed over into the AUegash, and so 
went down that into the St. John, and up the Mada- 
waska to the Grand Portage across to the St. Lawrence. 
His is tlie only account that I know, of an expedition 
through to Canada in this direction. He thus describes 
his first sight of the latter river, which, to compare small 
things with great, is like Balboa's first sight of the 
Pacific from the mountains of the Isthmus of Darien. 
" When we first came in sight of the St. Lawrence," he 
says, "from the top of a high hill, the view was most 
striking, and much more interesting to me from having 
been shut up in the woods for the two previous months. 
Directly before us lay the broad river, extending across 
nine or ten miles, its surface broken by a few islands 
and reefs, and two ships riding at anchor near the shore. 
Beyond, extended ranges of uncultivated hills, parallel 
with the river. The sun was just going down behind 
tliem, and gilding the whole scene with its parting rays." 
About four o'clock, the same afternoon, we commenced 
liur return voyage, which would require but little if any 
poling. In shooting rapids the boatmen use large and 
broad paddles, instead of poles, to guide the boat with. 
Though we glided so swirlly, and often smoothly, down, 
where it had cost us no slight f'flTort to get up, our pros 


ent voyage was attended with far more danger : for if wi 
once fairly struck one of the thousand rocks by which 
we were surrounded the boat would be swamped in an 
instant. When a boat is swamped under these circum- 
Btances, the boatmen commonly find no diflSculty in 
keeping afloat at first, for the current keeps both them 
and their cargo up for a long way down the stream ; and 
if they can swim, they have only to work their way 
gradually to the shore. The greatest danger is of being 
caught in an eddy behind some larger rock, where the 
water rushes up stream faster than elsewhere it does 
down, and being carried round and round under the sur- 
face till they are drowned. McCauslin pointed out 
some rocks which had been the scene of a fatal accident 
of this kind. Sometimes the body is not thrown out for 
several hours. He himself had performed such a cir- 
cuit once, only his legs being visible to his companions ; 
but he was fortunately thrown out in season to recover 
his breath.* In shooting the rapiJs, the boatman has 
this problem to solve : to choose a circuitous and safe 
course amid a thousand sunken rocks, scattered over a 
quarter or half a mile, at the same time that he is mov- 
ing steadily on at the rate of fifteen miles an hour. 
Stop he cannot ; the only question is, where will he go ? 
The bow-man chooses the course with all his eyes about 
him, striking broad off with his paddle, and drawing the 
boat by main force into her course. The stern-man 
faithfully follows the bow. 

We were soon at the Aboljacarmegus Falls. Anx- 

• I cut this from a newspaper. " On the 11th (instant?) fMay, '491 
on Rappogenes Falls, Mr. John Delantee, of Orono, Me., was drowned 
while running logs. He was a citizen of Orono, and was twenty-sij 
^<ire of age. His companions found liis body, enclosed it in bark 
tnd buried it in the solemn woods." 

jfTAADN. 71 

lous to avoid the delay, as well as the labor, of the port- 
age . here, our boatmen went forward first to reconnoitre, 
and concluded to let the batteau down the falls, carrying 
the baggage only over the portage. Jumping from rock 
to rock until nearly in the middle of the stream, wo 
were ready to receive the boat and let her down ovei 
the first fall, some six or seven feet perpendicular. The 
boatmen stand upon the edge of a shelf of rock, where 
the fall is perhaps nine or ten feet perpendicular, in 
from one to two feet of rapid water, one on each side of 
the boat, and let it slide gently over, till the bow is run 
out ten or twelve feet in the air ; then, letting it drop 
squarely, while one holds the painter, the other leaps 
in, and his companion following, they are whirled down 
the rapids to a new fall, or to smooth water. In a very 
few minutes they had accomplished a passage in safety, 
which would be as foolhardy for the unskilful to at- 
tempt as the descent of Niagara itself. It seemed as i." 
it needed only a little familiarity, and a little more skill, 
to navigate down such falls as Niagara itself with safety. 
At any rate, I should not despair of such men in the 
rapids above table-rock, until I saw them actually go 
over the falls, so cool, so collected, so fertile in resources 
are they. One might have thought that these were 
falls, and that falls were not to be waded through with 
impunity, like a mud-puddle. There was really danger 
of their losing their sublimity in losing their power to 
.arm us. Familiarity breeds contempt. The boatman 
pauses, perchance, on some shelf beneath a table-rock 
under the fall, standing in some cove of back-water two 
feet deep, and you hear his rjugh voice come up through 
the spray, coolly giving directions how to launch the hoai 
Uiis time. 


Having carried round Pockwockomus Falls, our oars 
Boou brought us to the Katepskonegan, or Oak Hall 
carry, where we decided to camp half way over, leaving 
our batteau to be carried over in the morning on fresh 
shoulders. One shoulder of each of the boatmen showed 
a red spot as large as one's hand, worn by the batteau 
on this expedition ; and this shoulder, as it did all the 
work, was perceptibly lower than its fellow, from long 
service. Such toil soon wears out the strongest consti- 
tution. The drivers are accustomed to work in the cold 
water in the spring, rarely ever dry ; and if one falls in 
all over he rarely changes his clothes till night, if then, 
even. One who takes this precaution is called by a par- 
ticular nickname, or is turned off. None can lead this 
life who are not almost amphibious. McCauslin said 
soberly, what is at any rate a good story to tell, that he 
had seen where six men were wholly under water at 
once, at a jam, with their shoulders to handspikes. If 
the log did not start, then they had to put out their 
heads to breathe. The driver works as long as he can 
Bee, from dark to dark, and at night has not time to eat 
his supper and dry his clothes fairly, before he is asleep 
on his cedar bed. We lay that night on the very bed 
made by such a party, stretching our tent over the poles 
which were still standing, but reshingling the damp and 
feded bed with fresh leaves. 

In the morning we carried our boat over and 
launched it, making haste lest the wind should rise 
The boatmen ran down Passamagamet, and, soon after 
Ambejijis Falls, while we walked round with the bag- 
gage. We made a hasty breakfast at the head of Am 
bejijis Lake, on the remainder of our pork, and were soon 
rowing across its smooth surface again, under a pleasan/ 


iky, the mountain being now clear of clouds, in the 
northeasts Taking turns at the oars, we shot rapidly 
across Deep Cove, the foot of Pamaduracook, and the 
North Twin, at the rate of six miles an hour, the wind not 
being high enough to disturb us, and reached the Dara 
at noon. The boatmen went through one of the log 
sluices in the batteau, where the fall was ten feet at the 
bottom, and took us in below. Here was the longest 
rapid in our voyage, and perhaps the running this was 
as dangerous and arduous a task as any. Shooting 
down sometimes at the rate, as we judged, of fifteen 
miles an hour, if we struck a rock we were split from 
end to end in an instant. Now, like a bait bobbing for 
some river monster, amid the eddies, now darting to this 
side of the stream, now to that, gliding swift and smooth 
near to our destruction, or striking broad off with the 
paddle and drawing the boat to right or left with all our 
might, in order to avoid a rock. I suppose that it was 
like running the rapids of the Saute de St. Marie, at 
the outlet of Lake Superior, and our boatmen probably 
displayed no less dexterity than the Indians there do. 
We soon ran through this mile, and floated in Quakish 

After such a voyage, the troubled and angry waters, 
which once had seemed terrible and not to be trifled 
with, appeared tamed and subdued ; they had been 
bearded and worried in their channels, pricked and 
whipped into submission with the spike-pole and paddle, 
aone through and through with impunity, and all their 
spirit and their danger taken out of them, and the most 
swollen and impetuous rivers seemed but playthings 
henceforth. I began, at length, to understand the boat- 
man s familiarity with, and contemot for, the rapids. 


" Those Fowler boys," said Mrs. McCausHn, " are p^^ 
feet ducks for the water." They had run down to Lin- 
coln, according to her, thirty or forty miles, in a batteau, 
in the night, for a doctor, when it was so dark that they 
could not see a rod before them, and the river was swol- 
len so as to be almost a continuous rapid, so that the 
doctor cried, when they brought him up by daylight, 
** Why, Tom, how did you see to steer ? " " We did n't 
steer much, — only kept her straight." And yet they 
met with no accident. It is true, the more difficult 
rapids are higher up than this. 

When we reached the Millinocket opposite to Tom's 
house, and were waiting for his folks to set us over, for 
we had left our batteau above the Grand Falls, we dis- 
covered two canoes, with two men in each, turning up 
this stream from Shad Pond, one keeping the opposite 
side of a small island before us, while the other ap- 
proached the side where we were standing, examining 
the banks carefully for muskrats as they came along. 
The last proved to be Louis Neptune and his companion, 
now, at last, on their way up to Chesuncook after moose ; 
but they were so disguised that we hardly knew them. 
At a little distance they might have been taken for 
Quakers, with their broad-brimmed hats, and overcoats 
with broad capes, the spoils of Bangor, seeking a settle- 
ment in this Sylvania, — or, nearer at hand, for fashion- 
able gentlemen the morning after a spree. Met face to 
face, these Indians in their native woods looked like the 
sinister and slouching fellows whom you meet picking 
Ip strings and paper in the streets of a city. There is, 
\s\ fact, a remarkable and unexpected resemblance be- 
tween the degraded savage and the lowest classes in a 
great city. The one is no more a diild of nature than 


the other. In the progress of d«;gradation the distinction 
of races is soon lost. Neptune at first was only anxious 
to know what we " kill," seeing some partridges in the 
hands of one of the party, but we had assumed too 
much anger to permit of a reply. We thought Indians 
had some honor before. But — "Me been sick. O, 
me unwell now. You make bargain, then me go." 
They had in fact been delayed so long by a drunken 
frolic at the Five Islands, and they had not yet recov- 
ered from its effects. They had some young musquash 
in their canoes, which they dug out of the banks with 
a hoe, for food, not for their skins, for musquash are their 
principal food on these expeditions. So they went on 
up the Millinocket, and we kept down the bank of the 
Penobscot, after recruiting ourselves with a draught of 
Tom's beer, leaving Tom at his home. 

Thus a man shall lead his life away here on the edge 
of the wilderness, on Indian Millinocket stream, in a 
new world, far in the dark of a continent, and have a 
flute to play at evening here, while his strains echo to 
the stars, amid the howling of wolves ; shall live, as it 
were, in the primitive age of the world, a primitive 
man. Yet he shall spend a sunny day, and in this cep- 
tury be my contemporary; perchance shall read some 
scattered leaves of literature, and sometimes talk with 
me. Why read history, then, if the ages and the gen- 
erations are now ? He lives three thousand years deep 
into time, an age not yet described by poets. Can you 
well go further back in history than this ? Ay ! ay 1 — 
for there turns up but now into the mouth of Millinocket 
Btream a still more ancient and primitive man, whose 
history is not brought down even to the former. In a 
bark vessel sewn wiili the roots of the spruce, with 


hornbeam paddles, he dips his way along. He is but 
dim and misty to me, obscured by the aeons that lie be- 
tween the bark-canoe and the batteau. He builds no 
bouse of logs, but a wigwam of skins. He eats no hot 
bread and sweet cake, but musquash and moose-meat 
and the fat of bears. He glides up the INIillinocket and 
is lost to my sight, as a more distant and misty cloud ia 
seen flitting by behind a nearer, and is lost in space. 
So he goes about his destiny, the red face of man. 

After having passed the night, and buttered our boots 
for the last time, at Uncle George's, whose dogs almost 
devoured him for joy at his return, we kept on down the 
river the next day, about eight miles on foot, and then 
took a batteau, with a man to pole it, to Mattawamkeag, 
ten more. At the middle of that very night, to make 
a swift conclusion to a long story, we dropped our 
buggy over the half-finished bridge at Oldtown, where 
we heard the confused din and clink of a hundred 
saws, which never rest^ and at six o'clock the next 
morning one of the party was steaming his way to Mas- 

"^ What is most striking in the Maine wildemesa is the 
continuousness of the forest, with fewer open intervals 
or glades than you had imagined. Except the few 
burnt-lands, the narrow intervals on the rivers, the bare 
tops of the high mountains, and the lakes and streams, 
the forest is uninterrupted. It is even more grim and 
wild than you had anticipated, a damp and intricate 
wilderness, in the spring everywhere wet and miry. 
The aspect of the country, indeed, is universally stern 
and savage, excepting the distant views of the foresl 
from hills, and the lake prospects, which are mild and 


civilizing in a degree. The lakes are something which 
you are unprepared for; they lie up so high, exposed 
to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe 
on their edges, with here and there a blue mountain, 
like amethyst jewels set around some jewel of the first 
water, — so anterior, so superior, to all the changes that, 
are to take place on their shores, even now civil and 
refined, and fair as they can ever be. These are not 
the artificial forests of an English king, — a royal pre- 
serve merely. Here prevail no forest laws but those 
of nature. The aborigines have never been dispos- 
sessed, nor nature disforested. 

It is a country full of evergreen trees, of mossy silver 
birches and watery maples, the ground dotted with in- 
sipid, small, red berries, and strewn with damp and 
moss-grown rocks, — a country diversified with iunu- 
mei'able lakes and rapid streams, peopled with trout and 
various species of leucisci, with salmon, sliad, and pick- 
erel, and other fishes ; the forest resounding at rare in- 
tervals with the note of the chicadee, the blue-jay, and 
the woodpecker, the scream of the fish-hawk and the 
eagle, the laugh of the loon, and the wliistle of ducks 
along the solitary streams ; at night, with the hooting 
of owls and howling of wolves ; in summer, swarming 
with myriads of black flies »nd mosquitoes, more formi- 
dable tlian wolves to the white man. Such is the homo 
of the moose, the bear, the caribou, the wolf, the beaver, 
and the Indian. Who shall describe the inexpressible 
tenderness and immortal life of th«^. grim forest, wliere 
Nature, though it be mid-winter, ii. ever in her spring, 
where the moss.-grown and decaying t-ees are not old, 
but seem to enjoy a perpetual youth ; anr" blissful, inno- 
• '<nt Nature, like a seren'3 infant, is too hapi)y to make 

4* T 


a noise, except by a few tinkling, lisping birds and 
trickling rills ? 

What a place to live, what a place to die and be 
buried in ! There certainly men would live fore^ er, 
and laugh at death and the grave. There they could 
have no such thoughts as are associated with the village 
graveyard, — that make a grave out of one of those 
moist evergreen hummocks ! 

Die and be buried who will, 

1 mean to live here still ; 
My nature grows ever more young 

The primitive pines among. 

I am reminded by my journey how exceedingly new 
this country still is. You have only to travel for a few 
days into the interior and back parts even of many of 
the old States, to come to that very America which the 
Northmen, and Cabot, and Gosnold, and Smith, and Ra- 
leigh visited. If Columbus was the first to discover the 
islands, Americus Vespucius and Cabot, and the Puri- 
tans, and we their descendants, have discovered only the 
shores of America. While the republic has already 
acquired a history world-wide, America is still unsettled 
and unexplored. Like the English in New Holland, 
we live only on the shores of a continent even yet, and 
hardly know where the rivers come from which float 
our navy. The vefy timber and boards and shingles of 
y^'hich our houses are made, grew but yesterday in a 
wilderness where the Indian still hunts and the moose 
runs wild. New York has her wilderness within hei 
own borders ; and though the sailors of Europe arc 
familiar with the soundings of her Hudson, and Fultou 
long since invented the steamboat on its waters, an 1;* 


dian is still necossaiy to guide her scientitic men to its 
head-waters in the Adirondac country. 

Have we even so much as discovered and settled the 
shores ? Let a man travel on foot along the coast, from 
the Passamaquoddy to the Sabine, or to the Rio Bravo, 
or to wherever the end is now, if he is swift enough to 
overtake it, faithfully following the windings of every 
inlet and of every cape, and stepping to the music of 
the surf, — with a desolate fishing-town once a week, 
and a city's port once a month to cheer him, and putting 
up at the light-houses, when there are any, — and tell 
me if it looks like a discovered and settled country, and 
not rather, for the most part, like a desolate island, and 
No-man's Land. 

We have advanced by leaps to the Pacific, and left 
many a lesser Oregon and California unexplored behind 
us. Though the railroad and the telegraph have been 
established on the shores of Maine, the Indian still 
looks out from her interior mountains over all these to 
the sea. There stands the city of Bangor, fifty miles 
up the Penobscot, at the head of navigation for vessels 
of the largest class, the principal lumber depot on this 
continent, with a pof)nlation of twelve thousand, like a 
star on the edge of night, still hewing at the forests of 
which it is built, already overflowing with the luxuries 
and refinement of Europe, and sending its vessels to 
Spain, to England, and to the West Indies for its gro- 
ceries, — and yet only a few axe-men have gone " up 
river," into the howling wilderness which feeds it. The 
bear and deer are still found wi hin its limits ; and the 
moose, as he swims the Penobscot, is entangled amid 
its shipping, and taken by foreign sailors in its harbor. 
Twelve miles in the rcai', twelve miles of railroad, are 


Orono and the Indian Island, the home of the Peno'rv 
Bcot tribe, and then commence the batteau and the 
canoe, and the military road ; and sixty miles above, 
the country is virtually unmapped and unexplored, and 
there still waves the virgin forest of the New World. 


At 5 p. M., September 13th, 1853, 1 left Boston, in 
the steamer, for Bangor, by the outside course. It was a 
warm and still night, — warmer, probably, on the water 
than on the land, — and the sea was as smooth as a 
Braall lake in summer, merely rippled. The passengers 
went singing on the deck, as in a parlor, till ten o'clock. 
We passed a vessel on her beam-ends on a rock just 
outside the islands, and some of us thought that she was 
the " rapt ship " which ran 

" on her side so low 
That she drank water, and her keel ploughed air," 

not considering that there was no wind, and that she was 
under bare poles. Now we have left the islands behind 
and are off Nahant. "We behold those features which 
the discoverers saw, apparently unchanged. Now we 
see the Cape Ann lights, and now pass near a small 
village-like fleet of mackerel-fishers at anchor, probably 
off Gloucester. They salute us with a shout from their 
low decks ; but I understand their " Good evening " to 
mean, " Don't run against me, Sir." From the wonders 
of the deep we go below to yet deeper sleep. And 
then the absurdity of being waked up in the niglit by 
a man who wants the job of blacking your boots ! It ia 
more inevitable than sea-sicknefs, and may have some* 


thing to do with it. It is like the ducking you get on 
crossing the line the first time. I trusted that these old 
customs were abohshed. They might with the same 
propriety insist on blacking your face. I heard of one 
man who complained that somebody had stolen his boota 
in the night ; and when he found them, he wanted to 
know what they had done to them, — they had spoiled 
them, — he never put that stuff on them ; and the boot- 
black narrowly escaped paying damages. 

Anxious to get out of the whale's belly, I rose early, 
and joined some old salts, who were smoking by a dim 
light on a sheltered part of the deck. We were just 
getting into the river. They knew all about it, of 
course. I was proud to find that I had stood the voy- 
age so well, and was not in the least digested. We 
brushed up and watched the first signs of dawn through 
an open port ; but the day seemed to hang fire. We 
inquired the time ; none of my companions had a chro- 
nometer. At length an African prince rushed by, ob- 
serving. " Twelve o'clock, gentlemen ! " and blew out the 
light. It was moon-rise. So I slunk down into the 
monster's bowels again. 

The first land we make is Manhegan Island, before 
dawn, and next St. George's Islands, seeing two or three 
lights. Whitehead, with its bare rocks and funereal 
bell, is interesting. Next I remember that the Camden 
Hills attracted my eyes, and afterward the hills about 
Frankfort. We reached Bangor about noon. 

When I arrived, my companion that was to be had 

■)\ gone up river, and engaged an Indian, Joe Aitteon, a 

Bon of the Gov^raor, to go with us to Chesuncook Lake. 

^oe had conducted two white m'jn a-nioose-)iunting in 

fhe same direction the year before. He arrived by car» 


at Bangor ihat evening, with his canot and a compan- 
ion, Sabatlis Solomon, who was going to leave Bangor , ^-4* 
ihe following Monday with Joe's father, by way of the -. 
Penobscot, and join Joe in moose-hunting at Chesuu- ' C>iO|V|^| 
cook, when we had done with him. They took supper 
at my friend's house and lodged in his burn, saying that 
they should fare worse than that in the woods. They 
only made Watch bark a little, when they came to the 
door in the night for water, for he does not like In- 

Tlie next morning Joe and his canoe were put on 
board the stage for Moosehead Lake, sixty and odd 
miles distant, an hour before we started in an open 
wagon. We carried hard bread, pork, smoked beef, tea, 
sugar, etc., seemingly enough for a regiment ; the sight 
of which brought together reminded me by what ignoble 
means we had maintained our ground hitherto. We 
went by the Avenue Road, which is quite straight and 
very good, north-westward toward Moosehead Lake, 
through more than a dozen flourishing towns, with al- 
most every one its academy, — not one of which, how- 
ever, is on my General Atlas, published, alas ! in 1824 ; , — 
so much are they before the age, or I behind it ! The 
earth must have been considerably lighter to the shoul- 
ders of General Atlas then. 

It rained all this day and till the middle of the next 
forenoon, concealing the landscape almost entirely ; but 
we had hardly got out of the streets of Bangor before 1 
began to bs exliilaiated by the sight of the wild fir and 
gpruce-tops, and those of other primitive evergreens, 
pf;ering through the mist in the horizon. It was like 
the sight and odor of cake to a schoolboy. He who 
rides and keeps the beaten track studies the ferices 


chiefly. Near Bangor, the fence-posts, on .iccount of 
the frost's lieaving them in the clayey soil, were iiol 
planted in the ground, but were mortised into a trans- 
verse horizontal beam lying on the surface. After- 
wards, the prevailing fences were log ones, with sorae- 
tiraes a Virginia fence, or else rails slanted over crossed 
stakes, — and these zigzagged or played leap-frog all 
the way to the lake, keeping just ahead of us. Afier 
getting out of the Penobscot Valley, the country was 
unexpectedly level, or consisted of very even and equal 
swells, for twenty or thirty miles, never rising above the 
general level, but affording, it is said, a very good pros- 
pect in clear weather, with frequent views of Ktaadn, — 
straight roads and long hills. The houses were far 
apart, commonly small and of one story, but framed. 
There was very little land under cultivation, yet the forest 
did not often border the road. The stumps were fre- 
quently as high as one's head, showing the depth of 
the snows. The white hay-caps, drawn over small 
stacks of beans or corn in the fields, on account of the 
rain, were a novel sight to me. We saw large flocks of 
pigeons, and several times came within a rod or two of 
partridges in the road. My companion said, that, in 
one journey out of Bangor, he and his son had shot sixty 
partridges from his buggy. The mountain-ash was now 
very handsome, as also the wayfarer's-tree or hobble- 
bush, with its ripe purple berries mixed with red. The 
Canada thistle, an introduced plant, was the prevailing 
weed all the way to the lake, — the road-side in many 
places, and fields not long cleared, being densely filled 
with it as with a crop, to the exclusion of everything 
else. There were also whole fields full of ferns, now 
nisty and withering, which in older countries are ct»m 


tDonly confined to wet ground. There were very fc\« 
flowers, even allowing for the lateness of the season. It 
chanced that I saw no asters in bloom along the road for 
fifty miles, though they were so abundant then in Massa- 
chusetts, — except in one place one or two of tl;c Aster 
af urainatus, — and no golden-rods till within twenty 
miles of Monson, where I saw a three-ribbed one. 
There were many late buttercups, however, and the 
two fire-weeds, Erechthites and Epilobium, commonly 
where there had been a burning, and at last the pearly 
everlasting. I noticed occasionally very long troughs 
which supplied the road with water, and my companion 
paid that three dollars annually were granted by the 
State to one man in each school-district, who provided 
and maintained a suitable water-trough by the road-side, 
for the use of travellers, — a piece of intelligence as 
refreshing to me as the water itself. That legislature 
did not sit in vain. It was an Oriental act, which made 
me wish that I was still farther down East, — another 
Maine law, which I hope we may get in Massachusetts. 
That State is banishing bar-rooms from its highways, 
and conducting the mountain-springs thither. 

The country was first decidedly mountainous in Gar- 
land, Sangerville, and onwards, twenty-five or thirty 
miles from Bangor. At Sangerville, where we stopped 
at mid-afternoon to warm and dry ourselves, the land- 
lord told us that he had found a wilderness Avhere we 
found him. At a fork in the road between Abbot and 
Monson, about twenty miles from Moosehead Lake, I 
saw a guide-post surmounted by a pair of Moose-horns, 
spreading four or five i^eet, with the word " Monson " 
painted on one blade, and the name of some other town 
on the other. They s»re sometimes used for ornamental 


hat 'trees, together with deers' horns, in front entries j 
but, after the experience which I shall relate, I trust 
that I shall have a better excuse for killing a moose 
than that I may hang my hat on his horns. We reached 
Monson, fifty miles from Bangor, and thirteen from the 
lake, after dark. 

At four o'clock the next morning, in the dark, and 
still in the rain, we pursued our journey. Close to the 
academy in this town they have erected a sort of gal- 
lows for the pupils to practice on. I thought that they 
might as well hang at once all who need to go through 
such exercises in so new a country, where there is noth- 
ing to hinder their living an out-door life. Better omit 
Blair, and take the air. The country about the south 
end of the lake is quite mountainous, and the road began 
to feel the effects of it. There is one hill which, it is 
calculated, it takes twenty-five minutes to ascend. In 
many places the road was in that condition called re- 
•paired, having just been whittled into the required semi- 
cylindrical form with the shovel and scraper, with all 
the softest inequalities in the middle, like a hog's back 
with the bristles up, and Jehu was expected to keep 
astride of the spine. As you looked off each side of the 
bare sphere into the horizon, the ditches were awful to 
behold, — a vast hollowness, like that between Saturn 
and his ring. At a tavern hereabouts the hostler 
greeted our horse as an old acquaintance, though he did 
not remember the driver. He said that he had taken 
care of that little mare for a short time, a year or two 
before, at the Mount Kineo House, and thought she was 
not in as good condition as then. Every man to hirf 
trade. I am not acquainted with a single horso in tb* 
world, not even the one that kicked me. 


Already we had thought that we saw Moosehead 
Lake from a hill-top, where an extensive fog filled the 
distant lowlands, but we were mistaken. It was not 
till we were within a mile or two of its south end that 
we got our first view of it, — a suitably wild-looking 
sheet of water, sprinkled with small, low islands, which 
wure covered with shaggy spruce and other wild wood, 
— seen over the infant port of Greenville, with moun- 
tains on each side and far in the north, and a steamer's 
smoke-pipe rising above a roof. A pair of moose-horns 
ornamented a corner of the public-house where we left 
our horse, and a few rods distant lay the small steamer 
Moosehead, Captain King. There was no village, and 
no summer road any farther in this direction, — but a 
winter road, that is, one passable only when deep 
snow covers its inequalities, from Greenville up the 
east side of the lake to Lily Bay, about twelve miles. 

I was here first introduced to Joe. He had ridden 
all the way on the outside of the stage, the day before, 
In the rain, giving way to ladies, and was well wetted. 
A.S it still rained, he asked if we were going to '' put 
it through." He was a good-looking Indian, twenty- 
four years old, apparently of unmixed blood, short and 
stout, with a broad face and reddish complexion, and 
eyes, methinks, narrower and more turned-up at the 
outer corners than ours, answering to the description 
of his lace. Beside his under-clothing, he wore a red- 
flannel shirt, woollen pants, and a black Kossuth hat, 
the ordinary dress of the lumberman, and, to a consid- 
erable extent, of the Penobscot Indian. When, after- 
ward, he had occasion to take off his shoes and stock- 
.ngs, I was struck with the smaUness of his feet. He 
had wolked a good deal as a lumberman, and ajipeared 


to identify himself with that class. He was the only 
one of the party who possessed an India-rubber jacket. 
The top stcip or edge of his canoe was worn nearly 
through by friction on the stage. 

At eight o'clock the steamer, with her bell and whistle, 
Bearing the moose, summoned us on board. She was a 
well-appointed little boat, commanded by a gentlemanly 
captain, with patent life-seats and metallic life-boat, and 
dinner on board, if you wish. She is chiefly used by 
lumberers for the transportation of themselves, their 
boats, and supplies, but also by hunters and tourists. 
There was another steamer, named Amphitrite, laid up 
close by ; but, apparently, her name was not more trite 
than her hull. There were also two or three large sail- 
boats in port. These beginnings of commerce on a 
lake in the wilderness are very interesting, — these 
larger white birds that come to keep company with thft 
gulls. There were but few passengers, and not one 
female among them : a St. Francis Indian, with his 
canoe and moose-hides, two explorers for lumber, three 
men who landed at Sandbar Island, and a gentleman 
who lives on Deer Island, eleven miles up the lake, 
and owns also Sugar Island, between which and the 
former the steamer runs ; these, I think, were all be- 
side ourselves. In the saloon was some kind of musical 
instrument, cherubim, or seraphim, to soothe the angry 
waves; and there, very properly, was tacked up the 
map of the public lands of Maine and Massachusetts, 
B copy of which I had in my pocket 

The heavy rain confining us to the saloon awhile, 1 
discoursed with the proprietor of Sugar Island on the 
condition of the world in Old Testament times. But 
•t length, leaving this subject as fresh as we found it, 


he told me that he had lived about this lake twenty or 
thirty years, and yet had not been to the head of it for 
twenty-one years. He faces the other way. The ex- 
plorers had a fine new birch on board, larger than ours, 
in which they had come up the Piscataquis from How- 
land, and they had had several messes of trout already. 
They were going to the neighborhood of Eagle and 
Chamberlain Lakes, or the head-waters of the St. John, 
and offered to keep us company as far as we went. 
The lake to-day was rougher than I found the ocean, 
either going or returning, and Joe remarked that it 
would swamp his birch. Off Lily Bay it is a dozen 
miles wide, but it is much broken by islands. The 
scenery is not merely wild, but varied and interesting ; 
mountains were seen, farther or nearer, on all sides but 
the northwest, their summits now lost in the clouds; 
but Mount Kineo is the principal feature of the lake, 
and more exclusively belongs to it. After leaving 
Greenville, at the foot, which is the nucleus of a town 
some eight or ten years old, you see but three or four 
houses for the whole length of the lake, or about forty 
miles, three of them the public houses at which the 
steamer is advertised to stop, and the shore is an un- 
broken wilderness. The prevailing wood seemed to be 
spruce, fir, birch, and rock-maple. You could easily 
distinguish the hard wood from the soft, or "black 
growth," as it is called, at a great distance, — the for- 
mer being smooth, round-topped, and light green, with a 
bowery and cultivated look. 

INIount Kineo, at which the boat touched, is a penin- - 
Bula with a narrow neck, abo'it midway the lake on tho 
jast side. The celebrated precipice is on the east or 
land side of this, and is so nigh and perpendicular that 


you can jump from the top, many hundred feet, into the 
water, which makes up behind the point. A man on 
board told us that an anchor had been sunk ninety fath- 
oms at its base before reaching bottom ! Probably it 
will be discovered erelong that some Indian maiden 
jumped off it for love once, for true love never could 
have found a path more to its mind. We passed quite 
close to the rock here, since it is a very bold shore, and 
I observed marks of a rise of four or five feet on it. 
The St. Francis Indian expected to take in his boy here, 
but he was not at the landing. The father's sharp eyes, 
however, detected a canoe witli his boy in it far away 
under the mountain, though no one else could see it. 
" Where is the canoe ? " asked the captain, " I don't see 
it" ; but he held on, nevertheless, and by and by it hove 
in sight. 

We reached the head of the lake about noon. The 
weather had, in the meanwhile, cleared up, though the 
mountains were still capped with clouds. Seen from this 
point, Mount Kineo, and two other allied mountains rang- 
ing with it northeasterly, presented a very strong family 
likeness, as if all cast in one mould. The steamer here 
approached a long pier projecting from the northern 
wilderness, and built of some of its logs, — and whistled, 
where not a cabin nor a mortal was to be seen. The 
shore was quite low, with flat rocks on it, ovei'hung with 
black ash, arbor-vitae, etc., which at first looked as if 
they did not care a whistle for us. There was not a 
single cabman to cry " Coach ! " or inveigle us to the 
United States Hotel. At length a Rlr. Hinckley, who 
has a camp at the other end of the '' carry," appeared 
with a truck drawn by an ox and a horse over a rude 
■jog-railway through the woods. The next tiling wa.s t« 


get our canoe and effects over the carry from this lake, 
one of the heads of the Kennebec, into the Penobscot 
River. Tliis railway from the lake to the river occu 
pied the middle of a clearing two or three rods wide 
and perfectly straight through the forest. We walked 
across while our baggage was drawn behind. My c^'d- 
panion went ahead to be ready for partridges, wliilo 1 
followed, looking at the plants. 

This was an interesting botanical locality for one com- 
ing from the South to commence with ; for many plants 
which are rather rare, and one or two which are not 
found at all, in the eastern part of Massachusetts, grew 
abundantly between the rails, — as Labrador tea, Kalmia 
glauca, Canada blueberry (which was still in fruit, and 
a second time in bloom), Clintonia and Linnaea borealis, 
which last a lumberer called moxon, creeping snowberry, 
painted trillium, large-flowered bellwort, etc. I fancied 
that the Aster radula, Diplopappus umbellatus, Solidago 
lanceolatus, red trumpet-weed, and many others which 
were conspicuously in bloom on the shore of the lake 
and on the carry, had a peculiarly wild and primitive 
look there. The spruce and fir trees crowded to tha 
track on each side to welcome us, the arbor-vitae, with 
its changing leaves, prompted us to make haste, and the 
Bight of the canoe-birch gave us spirits to do so. Some- 
times an evergreen just fallen lay across the track with 
its rich burden of cones, looking, still, fuller of life than 
our trees in the most favorable positions. You did not 
expect to find such spruce trees in the wild woods, but 
they evidently attend to their toilets each morning even 
there. Through such a front-yard did we enter that 

There was a very slight rise above the lake, — <he 


ecuntry appearing like, and perhaps being, partly a 
swamp, — and at length a gradual descent, to the Penob- 
scot, which I was surprised to find here a large stream, 
from twelve to fifteen rods Avide, flowing from west to 
east, or at right angles with the lake, and not more than 
two and a half miles from it. The distance is nearly 
twice too great on tlie Map of the Public Lands, and on 
Colton's Map of Maine, and Russell Stream is placed 
too far down. Jackson makes Moosehead Lake to be 
nine hundred and sixty feet above high water in Port- 
land harbor. It is higher than Chesuncook, for the lum- 
berers consider the Penobscot, v.-here we struck it, 
twenty -five feet lower than Moosehead, — though eight 
miles above it is said to be the highest, so that the water 
can be made to flow either way, and the river falls a 
good deal between here and Chesuncook. The carry- 
man called this about one hundred and forty miles 
above Bangor by the river, or two hundred from the 
ocean, and fifty-five miles below Hilton's, on the Canada 
road, the first clearing above, which is four and a half 
miles from the source of the Penobscot. 

At the north end of the carry, in the midst of a clear- 
ing of sixty acres or more, there was a log camp of the 
asual construction, with something more like a house 
adjoining, for the accommodation of the carryman's fam- 
ily and passing lumberers. Tiie bed of withered fir- 
twigs smelled very sweet, though really very dirty. 
There was also a store-house on the bank of the river, 
containing pork, flour, iron, batteaux, and birches, locked 

We now proceeded to get our dinner, which alwaya 
turned out to be tea, and to pitch canoes, for which pur 
yoie a large iron pot lay permanently on the bank 


ITiis we did in company with the explorers. Both Id 
dians and Avhites use a mixture of rosin and grease foi 
this purpose, — that is, for the pitching, not the dinner. 
Joe took a small brand from the fire and blew the heat 
and flame against the pitch on his birch, and so melted 
and spread il. Sometimes he put his mouth over the 
suspected spot and sucked, to see if it admitted air ; and 
at one place, where we stopped, he set his canoe high on 
cross* ;d stakes, and poured water into it. I narrowly 
watched his motions, and listened attentively to his 
observations, for we had employed an Indian mainly 
tluit I might have an opportunity to study his ways. I 
heard him swear once, mildly, during this operation, 
about his knife being as dull as a hoe, — an accomplish- 
ment which he owed to his intercourse with the whites ; 
and he remarked, " We ought to have some tea before 
we start; we shall be hungry before we kill that 

At mid-afternoon we embarked on the Penobscot. 
Our birch was nineteen and a half feet long by two and 
a half at the widest part, and fourteen inches deep with- 
in, both ends alike, and painted green, which Joe thought 
affected the pitch and made it leak. This, I think, was 
a middling-sized one. That of the explorers was much 
kirger, though probably not much longer. This carried 
MS three with our baggage, weighing in all between five 
hundred and fifty and six hundred pounds. We had 
two heavy, though slender, rock-maple paddles, one of 
hem of bird's-eye maple. Joe placed birch-bark on 
the bottom for us to sit on, and slanted cedar splints 
against the cross-bars to protect our backs, while he him- 
self sat upon a cross-biu- ir the stern. The baggage 
occupied the middle or widest part of the canoe. We 
ft o 


also paddled by turns in the bows, now sitting with car 
legs extended, now sitting upon our legs, and now rising 
upon our knees ; but I found none of these positions en- 
durable, and was reminded of the complaints of the old 
Jesuit missionaries of the torture they endured from 
long confinement in constrained positions in canoes, in 
their long voyages from Quebec to the Huron country ; 
but afterwards I sat on the cross-bars, or stood up, and 
experienced no inconvenience. 

It was dead water for a couple of miles. The river 
had been raised about two feet by the rain, and lumber- 
ers were hoping for a flood sufficient to bring down the 
logs that were left in the spring. Its banks were seven 
or eight feet high, and densely covered with white and 
black spruce, — which, I think, must be the commonest 
trees thereabouts, — fir, arbor-vitae, canoe, yellow, and 
black birch, rock, mountain, and a few red maples, 
beech, black and mountain ash, the large-toothed aspen, 
many civil looking elms, now imbrowned, along the 
stream, and at first a few hemlocks also. We had not 
gone far before I wais startled by seeing what I thought 
was an Indian encampment, covered with a red flag, on 
the bank, and exclaimed, " Camp ! " to my comrades. I 
was slow to discover that it was a red maple changed 
by the frost! The immediate shores were also densely 
covered with the speckled alder, red osier, shrubby- 
willows or sallows, and the like. There were a few 
yellow-lily-pads still left, half-drowned, along the sides, 
and sometimes a white one. Many fresh tracks of 
moose were visible where the water was shallow, and 
'jii the shore, and the lily-stems were freshly bitten off 
jy them. 

After paddling about two miles, we '-arted ;c:r.paiij 


with the explorers, and turned up Lobster Stream, 
which comes in on the right, from the southeast. This 
was six or eight rods wide, and appeared to run nearly 
parallel with the Penobscot. Joe said that it Avas so 
called from small fresh-water lobsters found in it. It is 
the Matahumkeag of the maps. My companion wished 
to look for moose signs, and intended, if it proved worth 
tlie while, to camp up that way, since the Indian -id- 
vised it. On account of the rise of the Penobscot the 
water ran up this stream quite to the pond of the same 
name, one or two miles. The Spencer Mountains, east 
of the north end of Moosehead Lake, were now in plain 
sight in front of us. The kingfisher flew before us, the 
pigeon woodpecker was seen and heard, and nuthatches 
and chicadees close at hand. Joe said thut they called 
the chicadee kecunnilessu in his language. I will not J 0^ 
vouch for the spelling of what possibly was never spelt 
before, but I pronounced after him till he said it would 
do. We passed close to a woodcock, which stood per- v - ,,^^^ 
fectly still on the shore, with feathers puffed up, as if 
sick. This Joe said they called nipsquecohossus. The \.tl^^^^\^ 
kingfisher was skuscumonsuck ; bear was wassus ; In- 
dian Devil, lunxus ; the mountain-ash, upahsis. This 
was very abundant and beautiful. Moose-tracks were 
not so fresh along this stream, except in a* small creek 
about a mile up it, where a large log had lodged in the 
spring, marked " W-cross-girdle-crow-foot." ^^ We saw 
a pair of moose-horns on the shore, and I asked Joe 
if a moose had shed them ; but he said there was a 
head attached to them, and I knew that they did not 
ghed their heads more than once in their lives. ^ 

After ascending about a mile and a half, to within 
R short distance of Lobster Lake, we returned to th« 



Penobscot. Just below the mouth of the Lobster we 
found quick water, and the river expanded to twenty or 
thirty rods in width. The moose-tracks were quite nu- 
merous and fresh here. We noticed in a great many 
places narrow and well-trodden paths by which they had 
come down to the river, and where they had slid on the 
Bteep and clayey bank. Their tracks were either close 
lo the edge of the stream, those of the calves distinguish- 
able from the others, or in shallow water; the holes 
made by their feet in the soft bottom being visible for 
a long time. They were particularly numerous where 
there was a small bay, or pokelogan, as it is called, 
bordered by a strip of meadow, or separated from the 
river by a low peninsula covered with coarse grass, 
wool-grass, etc., wherein they had waded back and forth 
and eaten the pads. We detected the remains of one 
in such a spot. At one place, where we landed to pick 
up a summer duck, which ray companion had shot, Joe 
peeled a canoe-birch for bark for his hunting-horn. He 
then asked if we were not going to get the other duck, 
for his sharp eyes had seen another fall in the bushes 
a little farther along, and my companion obtained it. 
I now began to notice the bright red berries of the tree- 
cranberry, which grows eight or ten feet high, mingled 
with the alders and cornel along the shore. There was 
less hard wood than at first 

After proceeding a mile and three quarters below t).e 
mouth of the Lobster, we reached, about sundown, a 
small island at the head of what Joe called the Moose- 
horn Dead-water, (the Moosehorn, in which he was go- 
ing to hunt that night, coming in about three miles 
below,) and on the upper end of this we decided to 
tamp. On a point at the lower end lay the carcass of 


% moose killed a month or more before- We concluded 
merely to prepare our camp, and leave our baggage 
here, that all might be ready when we returned from 
moose-hunting. Though I had not come a-hunting, and 
felt some compunctions about accompanying the hunters, 
I wished to see a moose near at hand, and was not sorry 
lo learn how the Indian managed to kill one. I went 
as reporter or chaplain to the hunters, — and the chap- 
lain has been known to carry a gun himself. After 
clearing a small space amid the dense spruce and fir 
trees, we covered the damp ground with a shingling of 
fir-twigs, and, while Joe was preparing his birch-horn 
and pitching his canoe, — for this had to be done when- 
ever we stopped long enough to build a fire, and was 
the principal labor which he took upon himself at such 
times, — we collected fuel for the night, large wet and 
rotting logs, which had lodged at the head of the island, 
for our hatchet was too small for effective chopping ; but 
we did not kindle a fire, lest the moose should smell it. 
Joe set up a couple of forked stakes, and prepared half 
a dozen poles, ready to cast one of our blankets over 
in case it rained in the night, which precaution, hoA'- 
ever, was omitted the next night. We also plucked the 
ducks which had been killed for breakfast. 

While we were thus engaged in the twilight, Wi 
heard faintly, from far down the stream, what sounded 
like two strokes of a woodchopper's axe, echoing dully 
through the grim solitude. We are wont to liken many 
sounds, heard at a distance in the forest, to the stroke 
of an axe, because they resemble each other under those 
^ircuro.stances, and tha* is the one we commonly hear 
there. When we told Joe of this, he exclaimed, " By 
George, I '11 bet that was a moose ! They make a nois« 


like that." These sounds affected us strangely, and by 
their very resemblance to a familiar one, where they 
probably had so different an origin, enhanced the im- 
pression of solitude and wildness. 

At starlight we dropped down the stream, which was 
a dead-water for three miles, or as far as the Moose- 
horn ; Joe telling us that we must be very eilent, an J 
he himself making no noise with his paddle, nrhile he 
urged the canoe along with effective impulses. It was 
a still night, and suitable for this purpose, — for if there 
Is wind, the moose will smell you, — and Joe was vcr}' 
confident that he should get some. The harvest moon 
had just risen, and its level rays began to light up the 
forest on our right, while we glided downward in the 
shade on the same side, against the little breeze that 
was stirring. The lofty, spiring tops of the spruce and 
fir were very black against the sky, and more distinct 
than by day, close bordering this broad avenue on each 
side ; and the beauty of the scene, as the moon rose 
above the forest, it would not be easy to describe. A 
bat flew over our heads, and we heard a few faint notes 
of birds from time to time, perhaps the myrtle-bird for 
one, or the sudden plunge of a musquash, or saw one 
crossing the stream before us, or heard the sound of a 
rill emptying in, swollen by the recent rain. About a 
mile below the island, when the solitude seemed to bo 
growing more complete every moment, we suddenly saw 
the light and heard the crackling of a fire on the bank, 
and discoverd the camp of the two explorers ; they stand- 
ing before it in their red shirts, and tf king aloud of tlie 
adventures and profits of the day. They were just 
then speaking of a bargain, in which, as I understood^ 
Romebody had cleared twenty-five dollars. We glided 


by without speakins;, close under the bank, witlin a 
couple of rods of them ; and Joe, taking his horn, imi- 
tated the call of the moose, till we suggested that they 
raigl t fire on up. This was the last we saw of them, 
and we never knew whether they detected or suspected 

I have oAen wished since that I was with them, 
They search for timber over a given section, climbing 
hills and often high trees to look off, — explore the 
streams by which it is to be driven, and the like, — 
spend five or six weeks in the woods, they two alone, a 
hundred miles or more from any town, — roaming about, 
and sleeping on the ground where night overtakes them, 
— depending chiefly on the provisions they carry with 
them, though they do not decline what game they come 
across, — and then in the fall they return and make 
report to their employers, determining the number of 
teams that will be required the following winter. Ex- 
perienced men get thi*ee or four dollars a day for this 
work. It is a solitary and adventurous life, and comes 
nearest to that of the trapper of the West, perhaps. 
They work ever with a gun as well as an axe, let their 
beards grow, and live without neighbors, not on an open 
plain, but far within a wilderness. 

This discovery accounted lor the sounds which we 
had heard, and destroyed the prospect of seeing moose 
yet awhile. At length, when we had left the explorer? 
far behind, Joe laid down his paddle, drew forth his 
birch horn, — a straight one, about fifteen inches long 
and three or four wide at the mouth, tied round with 
strips of the same bark, — and standing -ip, imitated the 
call of the moose, — ugh-ugh-ugh, or oo-oo-oo-oo, and then 
a prolonged oo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o, and listened attentively 


for several minutes. "We asked him what kind of 
noise he expected to hear. He said, that, if a moose 
heard it, he guessed we should find out ; we should 
hear him coming half a mile off; he would come close 
to, perhaps into, the water, and my companion must 
wait till he got fair sight, and then aim just behind th? 

The moose venture out to the river-side to feed and 
drink at night. Earlier in the season the hunters do 
not use a horn to call them out, but steal upon them as 
they are feeding along the sides of the stream, and often 
the first notice they have of one is the sound of the 
water dropping from its muzzle. An Indian whom ] 
heard imitate the voice of the moose, and also that of 
the caribou and the deer, using a much longer horn than 
Joe's, told me that the first could be heard eight or ten 
miles, sometimes ; it was a loud sort of bellowing sound, 
clearer and more sonorous than the lowing of cattle, — 
the caribou's a sort of snort, — and the small deer's like 
that of a lamb. 

At length we turned up the Moosehorn, where the 
Indians at the carry had told us that they killed a moose 
the night before. This is a very meandering stream, 
only a rod or two in width, but comparatively deep, 
coming in on the right, fitly enough named Moosehorc, 
whether from its windings or its inhabitants. It was 
boi'dered here and there by narrow meadows between 
the stream and the endless forest, affording favorable 
places for the moose to feed, and to call tlum out oir 
We proceeded half a mile up this, as through a narrow, 
winding canal, where the tall, dark spruce and firs and 
urbor-vitae towered on both sides in the moonlight, form- 
ing a perpendicular forest-edge of great height, like tbt 


spires of a Venice in the forest. In two places stood a 
small stack of hay on the bank, ready for the lumberer's 
use in the winter, looking strange enough there. We 
thought of the day when this might be a brook winding 
tlirough smooth-shaven meadows on some gentleman's 
grounds ; and seen by moonlight then, excepting the 
forest that now hems it in, how little changed it would 
appear ! 

Again and again Joe called the moose, placing the 
canoe close by some favorable point of meadow for them 
to come out on, but listened in vain to hear one come 
rushing through the woods, and concluded that they had 
been hunted too much thereabouts. We saw, many 
times, what to our imaginations looked like a gigantic 
moose, with his horns peering from out the forest-edge ; 
but we saw the forest only, and not its inhabitants, that 
night. So at last we turned about. There was now a 
little fog on the water, though it was a tine, clear night 
above. There were very few sounds to break the still- 
ness of the forest. Several times we heard the hooting 
of a great horned-owl, as at home, and told Joe that he 
would call out the moose for him, for he made a sound 
considerably like the horn, — but Joe answered, that the 
moose had heard that sound a thousand times, and knew 
better ; and oftener still we were startled by the plunge 
of a musquash. Once, when Joe had called again, and 
we were listening for moose, we heard, come faintly 
echoing, or creeping from far, through the moss-clad 
aisles, a dull, dry, rushing sound, with a solid core to it, 
yc^t as if half smothered under the grasp of the luxuri- 
ant and fungus-like foi'est, like the shutting of a door in 
some distant entry of tlie damp and shaggy wilderness. 
If wc had not been there, no mortal had heard it 


When we asked Joe in a whisper what it was, he an- 
Bwored, — "Tree fall." There is something singularly 
grand and impressive in the sound of a tree falling in a 
perfectly calm night like this, as if the agencies which 
overthrow it did not need to be excited, but worked with 
a subtle, deliberate, and conscious force, like a boa-con- 
strictor, and more effectively then than even in a windy 
day. If there is any such difference, perhaps it is be- 
cause trees with the dews of the night on them are 
heavier than by day. 

Having reached the camp, about ten o'clock, we kin- 
dled our fire and went to bed. Each of us had a 
blanket, in which he lay on the fir-twigs, with his ex- 
tremities toward the fire, but nothing over his head. It 
was worth the while to lie down in a country where you 
could afford such great fires ; that was one whole side, 
and the bright side, of our world. We had first rolled 
up a large log some eighteen inches through and ten feet 
long, for a back-log, to last all night, and then piled on 
the trees to the height of three or four feet, no matter 
how green or damp. Win fact, we burned as much wood 
that night as would, with economy and an air-tight stove, 
last a poor family in one of our cities all winter. ' It was 
very agreeable, as well as independent, thus lying in the 
open air, and the fire kept our uncovered extremities 
warm enough. The Jesuit missionaries used to say, 
that, in their journeys with the Indians in Canada, they 
lay on a bed which had never been shaken up since the 
creation, unless by earthquakes. It is surprising with 
what impunity and comfort one who has always lain in 
ft warm bed in a close apartment, and studiously avoided 
drafts of air, can lie down on the ground withr nt a shel- 
ter, roll himself in a blanket, and sleep before a fire, ui 


ft frosty, autumn niglit, just after a long rain-storm, and 
even come soon to enjoy and value the fresh air. 

I lay awake awhile, watching the ascent of the aparks 
through the iirs, and sometimes their descent in half- 
extinguished cinders on my blanket. They were as 
inter(!Sting as fireworks, going up in endless, successive 
crowds, each after an explosion, in an eager, serpentine 
course, some to five or six rods above the tree-tops be- 
fore they went out. We do not suspect how much our 
chimneys have concealed ; and now air-tight stoves have 
come to conceal all the rest. In the course of the night, 
I got up once or twice and put fresh logs on the fire, 
making my companions curl up their legs. 

When we awoke in the morning, (Saturday, Septem- 
ber 17,) there was considerable frost whitening the 
leaves. We heard the sound of the chicadee, and a 
few faintly lisping birds, and also of ducks in the water 
about the island. I took a botanical account of stock of 
our domains before the dew was off, and found that the 
ground-hemlock, or American yew, was the prevailing 
under-shrub. We breakfasted on tea, hard bread, and 

Before the fog had fairly cleared away, we paddled 
down the stream again, and were soon past the mouth of 
the Moosehorn. These twenty miles of the Penobscot, 
between Moosehead and Cliesuncook Lakes, are com- 
paratively smooth, and a great part dead-water; but 
from time to time it is shallow and rapid, with rocks or 
gravel-beds, where you can wade across. There is no 
expanse of water, and no break in the forest, and the 
meudow is a mere edging here and there. There are 
no hills near the river nor within sight, except one or 
two distant mountains seen in a few places. The banks 


are from six to ten feet high, but once or twice Ast 
gently lo higher ground. In many places the forest on 
the bank was but a thin strip, letting the light through 
from some alder-swamp or meadow behind. The con- 
spicuous berry-bearing bushes and trees along the shore 
were the red osier, with its whitish fruit, hobble-bush, 
mountain-ash, tree-cranberry, choke-cherry, now ripe, 
alternate cornel, and naked viburnum. Following Joo's 
example, 1 ate the fruit of the last, and also of the hob- 
ble-bush, but found them rather insipid and seedy. I 
looked very narrowly at the vegetation, as we glided 
along close to the shore, and frequently made Joe turn 
aside for me to pluck a plant, that I might see by com- 
parison what was primitive about my native river. 
Horehound, horsemint, and the sensitive fern grew close 
to the edge, under the willows and alders, and wool- 
grass on the islands, as along the Assabet River in Con- 
cord. It was too late for flowers, except a few asters, 
golden -rods, etc. In several places we noticed the slight 
frame of a camp, such as we had prepared to set up, 
amid the forest by the river-side, where some lumberers 
or hunters had passed a night, — and sometimes steps 
cut in the muddy or clayey bank in front of it. 

We stopped to fish for trout at the mouth of a small 
stream called Ragmuff, which came in from the we^t, 
about two miles below the Moosehorn. Here were the 
ruins of an old lumbering-camp, and a small space, 
w hich had formerly been cleared and burned over, was 
now densely overgrown with the red cherry and ras|>- 
berries. While we were trying for trout, Joe, Indian- 
like, wandered off up the Ragmuff on his own errands 
and wh<»n we were ready to start was far beyond call 
So we were compelled to make a fire and get our dia 


ner here, not to lose time. Some dark reddish birds, 
with grayer females, (perhaps purple finches,) and myr- 
tle-birds in their summer dress, liopped within six or 
eight feet of us and our smoke. Perhaps they smelled 
the frying pork. The latter bird, or both, made the 
lisping notes which I had heard in the forest. They 
suKsested that the few small birds found in the wilder- 


ness are on more familiar terms with the lumberman 
and hunter than those of the orchard and clearing with 
the farmer. I have since found the Canada jay, and 
partridges, both the black and the common, equally 
tame there, as if they had not yet learned to mistrust 
man entirely. The chicadee, which is at home alike in 
the primitive woods and in our wood-lots, still retains its 
confidence in the towns to a remarkable degree. 

Joe at length returned, after an hour and a half, and 
said that he had been two miles up the stream exploring, 
and had seen a moose, but, not having the gun, he did 
not get him. "We made no complaint, but concluded to 
look out for Joe the next time. However, this may 
have been a mere mistake, for we had no reason to com- 
plain of him afterwards. As we continued down the 
stream, I was surprised to hear him whisthng " Su- 
sanna," and several other such airs, while his paddle 
urged us along. Once he said, "Yes, Sir-ee." His 
tommon word was " Sartain." He paddled, as usual, on 
one side only, giving the birch an impulse by using the 
side as a fulcrum. I asked him how the ribs were fas- 
tened to the side rails. He answered, " I don't know, I 
cever noticed." Talking wiia him about subsisting 
wholly on what the woods yielded, game, fish, berries, 
etc., I suggested that his ancestors did so; but he an- 
swered, that he had been brought up in such a way that 


he could not do it. "Yes," said he, "that s the way 
they got a living, like wild fellows, wild as bears. By 
George ! I shan't go into the woods without provision, 
— hard bread, pork, etc." He had brought on a barrel 
of hard bread and stored it at the carry for his hunting 
y However, though he was a Governor's son, he had not 
learned to read. 

At one place below this, on the east side, where the 
bank was higher and drier than usual, rising gently from 
the shore to a slight elevation, some one had felled the 

^trees over twenty or thirty acres, and left them drying 
in order to burn. This was the only preparation for a 
house between the Moosehead carry and Chesuncook, 
but there was no hut nor inhabitants there yet. The 
pioneer thus selects a site for his house, which will, per- 
haps, prove the germ of a town. 

My eyes were all the while on the trees, distinguish- 
ing between the black and white spruce and the fir. 
Tou paddle along in a narrow canal through an endles3 
forest, and the vision I have in my mind's eye, still, is 
of the small, dark, and sharp tops of tall fir and spruce 
trees, and pagoda-like arbor-vitaes, crowded together on 
each side, with various hard woods, intermixed. Some 
of the arbor-vttaes were at least sixty feet high. The 
hard woods, occasionally occurring exclusively, were less 
wild to my eye. I fancied them ornamental grounds, 
with farm-houses in the rear. The canoe and yellow 
birch, beech, maple, and elm are Saxon and Norman , 
but the spruce and fir, and pines generally, are Indian. 
The soft engravings which adorn the annuals give no 
idea of a stream in such a wilderness as this. The 

- rough sketches in Jackson's Reports on the Geology of 
Maine answer much bt^lter. At one place we saw 


Rm.'ill grove uf slender sapling white-pines, the only col- 
lection of pines that I saw on this voyage. Here and 
there, however, was a full-grown, tall, and slender, but 
defective one, what lumbei'men call a konchics tree, 
which they ascertain with their axes, or by the knots. 
I did not learn whether this word was Indian or Eng' 
lioh. It reminded me of the Greek Koyx^, a conch or 
shell, and I amused myself with fancying, that it might 
signily the dead sound which the trees yield when 
Btruck. All the rest of the pines had been driven off. 

How far men go for the material of their houses! 
The inhabitants of the most civilized cities, in all ages, 
send into far, primitive forests, beyond the bounds of 
their civilization, where the moose and bear and savage 
dwell, for their pine-boards for ordinary use. And, on 
the other hand, the savage soon receives from cities, iron 
arrow-points, hatchets, and guns, to point his savageness 

The solid and well-defined fir-tops, like sharp and 
regular spear-heads, black against the sky, gave a pecu- 
liar, dark, and sombre look to the forest. The spruce- 
tops have a similar, but more ragged outline, — their 
shafts also merely feathered below. The firs were 
somewhat oftener regular and dense pyramids. I was 
•struck by this universal spiring upward of the forest 
evergreens. The tendency is to slender, spiring tops, 
while they are narrower below. Not only the spruce 
lind fir, but even the arbor-vitas and white-pine, unlike 
Ihe soft, spreading second-growth, of which I saw none, 
all spire upwards, lifting a dense spear-head of cones to 
the ligiit and air, at any rate, while fh^lr branches strag- 
gle after as they may ; as Indians lift the ball over the 
Leads of tilt' crowd in tlieir desperate gauie. In thi« 


they resemble grasses, as also palms somewhat Tlie 
hemlock is commonly a tent-like pyramid from the 
ground to its summit. 

After passing through some long rips, and by a large 
island, we reached an interesting part of the river called 
the Pine -Stream Dead-Water, about six miles below 
Ragmiiff, where the river expanded to thirty rods in 
width and had many islands in it, with elms and canoe- 
birches, now yellowing, along the shore, and we got our 
first sight of Ktaadn. 

Here, about two o'clock, we turned up a small branch 
three or four rods wide, which comes in on the right 
from the south, called Pine-Stream, to look for moose 
signs. We had gone but a few rods before we saw very 
recent signs along the water's edge, the mud lifted up by 
their feet being quite fresh, and Joe declared that they 
had gone along there but a short time before. We soon 
reached a small meadow on the east side, at an angle in 
the stream, which was, for the most part, densely cov- 
ered with alders. As we were advancing along the edge 
of this, rather more quietly than usual, perhaps, on 
account of the freshness of the signs, — the design be- 
ing to camp up this stream, if it promised well, — I 
heard a slight crackling of twigs deep in the alders, and 
turned Joe's attention to it ; whereupon he began to push 
the canoe back rapidly ; and we had receded thus half a 
dozen rods, when we suddenly spied two moose standing 
just on the edge of the open part of the meadow which 
we had passed, not more than six or seven rods distant, 
looking round the alders at us. They made me think 
of great frightened rabbits, with their long ears and half- 
iniuisitive, half-frightened looks; the true denizens of 
Jie forest, (I saw at once,) filling a Vftcuqm which now 


first I discovered had not been filled for me, — moose- 
men, wood-eaters, the word is said to mean, — clad in a 
BOrt of Vermont gray, or homespun. Our Nimrod, ow- 
ing to the retrograde movement, was now the farthest 
from the game ; but being warned of its neighborhood, 
he hastily stood up, and, while we ducked, fired over our 
heads one barrel at the foremost, which alone he saw, 
though he did not know what kind of creature it was ; 
whereupon this one dashed across the meadow and up a 
high bank on the northeast, so rapidly as to leave but an 
indistinct impression of its outlines on my mind. At the 
same instant, the other, a young one, but as tall as a 
horse, leaped out into the stream, in full sight, and there 
stood cowering for a moment, or rather its disproportion- 
ate lowness behind gave it that appearance, and uttering 
two or three trumpeting squeaks. I have an indistinct 
recollection of seeing the old one pause an instant on the 
top of the bank in the woods, look toward its shivering 
young, and then dash away again. The second barrel 
was levelled at the calf, and when we expected to see it 
drop in tiie water, after a little hesitation, it, too, got out 
of tlie water, and dashed up the hill, though in a some- 
what different direction. All this was the work of a few 
seconds, and our hunter, having never seen a moose be- 
fore, did not know but they were deer, for they stood 
partly in the water, nor whether he had fired at the same 
one twice or not. From the style in which they went 
oflT, and the fact that he was not used to standing up and 
firing from a canoe, I judged that we should not see 
anything more of them. The Indian said that they 
were a cow and her calf, — a yearling, or perhaps two 
years old, for they accompany their dams so long ; but, 
for my part, I had not noticed much difference in their 



size. It was but two or three rods across the meadow 
to the foot of the bank, which, like all the world there- 
abouts, was densely wooded; but I was surprised to 
notice, that, as soon as the moose had passed behind the 
veil of the woods, there was no sound of footsteps to be 
heard from the soft, damp moss which carpets that for- 
est, and long before we landed, pei-fect silence reigned. 
Joe said, "If you wound 'em moose, me sure get 'em." 

"We all landed at once. My companion reloaded ; the 
Indian fastened his birch, threw off his hat, adjusted hia 
waistband, seized the hatchet, and set out. He told me 
afterward, casually, that before we landed he had seen a 
drop of blood on the bank, when it was two or three 
rods off. He proceeded rapidly up the bank and through 
the woods, with a peculiar, elastic, noiseless, and stealthy 
tread, looking to right and left on the ground, and step- 
ping in the faint tracks of the wounded moose, now 
and then pointing in silence to a single drop of blood ou 
the handsome, shining leaves of the Clintonia Boreahs, 
which, on every side, covered the ground, or to a dry 
fern-stem freshly broken, all the while chewing some 
leaf or else the spruce gum. I followed, watching his 
motions more than the trail of the moose. After follow- 
•ng the trail about forty rods in a pretty direct course, 
stepping over fallen trees and winding between standing 
ones, he at length lost it, for there were many other 
moose-tracks there, and, returning once more to the last 
blood-stain, traced it a little way and lost it again, and, 
too soon, I thought, for a good hunter, gave it up en- 
\ire\y. He traced a few steps, also, the tracks of the 
;alf ; but, seeing no blood, soon relinquished the search 

I observed, while he was tracking the moose, a cer 
ttiin reticence or moderation in him. He did not com 


municate several observations of interest which he 
made, as a white man would have done, though they 
may have leaked out afterward. At another time, when 
we heard a slight crackling of twigs and he landed to 
reconnoitre, he stepped lightly and gracefully, stealing 
through the bushes with the least possible noise, in a 
way in which no white man does, — as it were, finding 
a place for his foot each time. 

About half an hour after seeing the moose, we pur- 
sued our voyage up Pine-Stream, and soon, coming to a 
part which was very shoal and also rapid, we took out 
the baggage, and proceeded to carry it round, while Joe 
got up with the canoe alone. We were just completing 
our portage and I was absorbed in the plants, admiring 
the leaves of the aster maci'ophyllus, ten inclies wide, 
and plucking the seeds of the great round-leaved orchis, 
when Joe exclaimed from the stream that he had killed 
a moose. He had found the cow-moose lying dead, but 
quite warm, in the middle of the stream, which was so 
shallow that it rested on the bottom, with hardly a third 
of its body above water. It was about an hour after it 
was shot, and it was swollen with water. It had run 
about a hundred rods and sought the stream again, cut- 
ting off a slight bend. No doubt, a better hunter would 
have tracked it to this spot at once. I was surprised at 
Its great size, horse-like, but Joe said it was not a large 
cow-moose. My companion went in search of the calf 
again. I took hold of the ears of the moose, while Joe 
pushed his canoe down stream toward a favorable shore, 
and so we made out, though with some dlfliculty, its long 
nose frequently sticking in the bottom, to drag it into 
Btill shallower water. It was a brownish black, or per- 
Daps a dark iron-gray, on the back and sides, but lighter 


beneath and in front. I took the cord which served fw 
the canoe's painter, and with Joe's assistance measured 
it carefully, the greatest distances first, making a kno( 
each time. The painter being wanted, I reduced these 
m'iasures that night with equal care to lengths and frac- 
tions of my umbrella, beginning with the smallest meas- 
ures, and untying the knots as I proceeded; and when 
we arrived at Chesuncook the next day, finding a two- 
foot rule there, I reduced the last to feet and inches; 
and, moreover, I made myself a two-foot rule of a thin 
and narrow strip of black ash which would fold up 
conveniently to six inches. All this pains I took be-, 
cause I did not wish to be obliged to say merely that 
the moose was very large. Of the various dimensions 
which I obtained I will mention only two. The dis- 
tance from the tips of the hoofs of the fore-feet, stretched 
out, to the top of the back between the shoulders, was 
seven feet and five inches. I can hardly believe my 
own measure, for this is about two feet greater than the 
heiglit of a tall horse. [Indeed, I am now satisfied thai 
this measurement was incorrect, but the other measures 
given here I can warrant to be correct, having proved 
them in a more recent visit to those woods.] The ex- 
treme length was eight feet and two inches. Another 
cow-moose, which I have since measured in those woods 
with a tape, was just six feet from the tip of the hoof 
to the shoulders, and eight feet long as she lay. 

When afterward I asked an Indian at the carry how 
much taller the male was, he answered, " Eighteen 
inches," and made me observe the height of a cross-stake 
over the fire, more than four feet from the ground, to 
give me some idea of the depth of his chest. Another 
Indian, at Oldtown, told me that they were nine feef 


i\\b to the top of the back, and thi.t one which he 
cned weighed eight hundred pounds. The length of 
ihs spinal projections between the shoulders is very 
gieau A white hunter, who was the best authority 
among hunters that I could have, told me that the 
male was 7iot eighteen inches taller than the femaUi; 
yet hti agreed that he was sometimes nine feet high to 
the top of the back, and weighed a thousand pounds. 
Only the male has horns, and they rise two feet or 
more above the shoulders, — spreading three or four, 
and sometimes six feet, — which would make him in 
all, sometimes, eleven feet high ! According to this cal- 
culation, the moose is as tall, though it may not be as 
large, as the great Irish elk, Megaceros Hibernicus, of 
a former period, of which Mantell says that it " very 
far exceeded in magnitude any living species, the skele- 
ton " being " upward of ten feet high from the ground 
to the highest point of the antlers." Joe said, that, 
though tlie moose shed the whole horn annually, each 
new horn has an additional prong ; but I have noticed 
that they sometimes have more prongs on one side 
than on the other. I was struck with the delicacy and 
tenderness of the hoofs, which divide very far up, and 
the one half could be pressed very much behind the 
other, thus probably making the animal surer-footed on 
the uneven ground and slippery moss-covered logs of 
the primitive forest. They were very unlike the stiff 
und battered feet of our horses and oxen. The bare, 
horny part of the fore-foot was just six inches long, 
nnd the two portions could be separated four inches at 
^he extremities. 

The moose is singularly grotesque and awkward to 
look ai. Why should it sUnd so high at the shoulder? f 


Why nave so long a head? Why have no 'nv ^c '■peak 
of? for in my examination I overlooked it entirely. 
Naturalists say it is an inch and a half long. It re- 
minded me at once of the camelopard, high before and 
low behind, — and no wonder, for, like it, it is fitted to 
browse on trees. The upper lip projected two inches 
boyond the lower for this purpose- This was the kind 
of man that was at home there ; for, as near as I can 
learn, that has never been the residence, but rather 
the hunting-ground of the Indian. The moose will 
perhaps one day become extinct; but how naturally 
then, when it exists only as a fossil relic, and unseen 
as that, may the poet or oculptor invent a fabulous 
animal with similar branching and leafy horns, — a sort 
of fucus or lichen in bone, — to be the inhabitant of 
such a forest as this ! 

Here, just at the head of the murmuring rapids, Joe 
now proceeded to skin the moose with a pocket-knife, 
while I looked on ; and a tragical business it was, — to 
see that still warm and palpitating body pierced with 
a knife, to see the warm milk stream from the rent 
udder, and the ghastly naked red carcass appearing 
from within its seemly robe, which was made to hide 
it. The ball had passed through the shoulder-blade 
diagonally and lodged under the skin on the opposite 
jide, and was partially flattened. My companion kecpa 
it to show to his grandchildren. He has the shanks of 
another moose which he has since shot, skinned and 
stuffed, ready to be made into boots by putting in a thick 
leather sole. Joe said, if a moose stood fronting you, 
you must not fire, but advance toward him, for he will 
turn slowly and give you a fair shot. In the bed of 
this narrow, wild, and rocky stream, between two lofty 


ivulls of spruce and firs, a mere cleft in the forest which 
the stream liad made, this work went on. At length 
Joe had stripped off the hide and dragged it trailing to 
the shore, declaring that it weighed a hundred pounds, 
thotigh probably fifty would have been nearer the truth. 
He cut off a large mass of the meat to carry along, and 
another, together with the tongue and nose, he put with 
the hide on the shore to lie there all night, or till wo 
returned. I was surprised that he thought of leaving 
this meat thus exposed by the side of the carcass, as 
the simplest course, not fearing that any creature would 
touch it ; but nothing did. This could hardly have 
happened on the bank of one of our rivers in the east- 
ern part of Massachusetts ; but I suspect that fewer 
small wild animals are prowling there than with us. 
Twice, however, in this excursion I had a glimpse of a 
species of large mouse. 

This stream was so withdrawn, and the moose-tracks 
were so fresh, that my companions, still bent on hunt- 
ing, concluded to go farther up it and camp, and then 
hunt up or down at night. Half a mile above this, at 
a place where I saw the aster puniceus and the beaked 
hazel, as we paddled along, Joe, hearing a slight rustling 
amid the alders, and seeing something black about two 
rods off, jumped up and whispered, " Bear ! " but before 
the hunter had discharged his piece, he corrected him- 
self to " Beaver ! " — " Hedgehog ! " The bullet killed 
a large hedgehog more than two feet and eight inches 
long. The quills were rayed out and flattened on the 
hinder part of its back, even as if it had lain on that 
|)art, but were erect and long between this and the tail. 
Their points, closely examined, were seen to be finely 
beardfid or barbed, and sliaped like an awl, that is. a 


little concave, to give the barbs effect. After about a 
mile of still water, we prepared our camp on the right 
side, just at the foot of a considerable fall. Little chop- 
ping was done that night, for fear of scaring the moose. 
We had moose-meat fried for supper. It tasted like 
tender beef, with perhaps more flavor, — sometimes hke 

After supper, the moon having risen, we proceeded to 
Ijunt a mile up this stream, first " carrying " about the 
falls. "We made a picturesque sight, wending single-file 
along the shore, climbing over rocks and logs, — Joe, 
who brought up the rear, twirling his canoe in his hands 
as if it were a feather, in places where it was difficult 
to get along without a burden. We launched the canoe 
again from the ledge over which tlie stream fell, but 
after half a mile of still water, suitable for hunting, it 
became rapid again, and we were compelled to make 
our way along the shore, while Joe endeavored to get 
up in the birch alone, tliough it was still very difficult 
for him to pick his way amid the rocks in the night. 
We on the shore found the worst of walking, a perfect 
chaos of fallen and drifted trees, and of bushes project- 
ing far over the water, and now and then we made our 
way across the mouth of a small tributary on a kind 
of net-work of alders. So we went tumbling on in 
tlie dark, being on the shady side, effectually scaring 
all the moose and bears that might be thereabouts. 
At length we came to a standstill, and Joe went forward 
to reconnoitre ; but he reported that it was still a con- 
tinuous rapid as far as he went, or half a mile, with 
no prospect of improvement, as if it were coming down 
from a mountain. So we turned about, hunting back 
'o the camp through the still water. It was a splendid 


moonlight night, and I, getting sleepy as it grew late,^ 
for I had nothing to do, — found it difficult to realize 
where I was. Tiiis stream was much more unfre- 
quented tlian the main one, lumbering operations being 
no longer carried on in this quarter. It was only three 
01 four I'ods wide, but the firs and spruce through which 
it trickled seemed yet taller by contrast. Being in this 
dreamy state, which the moonlight enhanced, I did not 
clearly discern the shore, but seemed, most of the time, 
to be floating through ornamental grounds, — for I as- 
sociated the fir-tops with such scenes ; — very high up 
some Broadway, and beneath or between their tops, 
1 thought I saw an endless succession of porticos and 
columns, cornices and fagades, verandas and churches. 
I did not merely fancy this, but in my drowsy state 
such was the illusion. I fairly lost myself in sleep 
several times, still dreaming of that architecture and 
the nobility that dwelt behind and might issue from it ; 
but all at once I would be aroused and brought back 
to a sense of my actual position by the sound of Joe's 
birch horn in the midst of all this silence calling the 
moose, vgh, ugh, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo, and I prepared to 
hear a furious moose come rushing and crashing through 
the forest, and see him burst out on to the little strip of 
meadow by our side. 
^XV^ But, on more* accounts than one, I had had enough 
£;j^ of moose-hunting. I had not come to the woods for 
this purpose, nor had I foreseen it, though I had been 
wiUing to learn how the Indian manoeuvred ; but one 
moose killed was as good, if not as bad, as a dozen. 
Tlie afternoon's tragedy, and my share in it, as it af- 
fected the innocence, destroyed the pleasure of my ad- 
venture. It is true, I came as near as is possible to 



come to being a hunter and miss it, myself; and ai it 
is, I think that I could spend a year in the wnods, fish- 
ing and hunting, just enough to sustain myself, with 
satisfaction. This would be next to living like a phi- 
losopher on the fruits of the earth which you had raised, 
which also attracts me. But this hunting of the moose 
merely for the satisfaction of killing him, — nDt evan 
for the sake of his hide, — without making any extraor- 
dinary exertion or running any risk yourself, is too 
much like going o?it by night to some wood-side pasture 
and shooting your neighbor's horses. These are God's 
own horses, poor, timid creatures, that will run fast 
snough as soon as they smell you, though they are nine 
feet high/^ Joe told us of some hunters who a year or 

' two before had shot down several oxen by night, some- 
where in the Maine woods, mistaking them for moose. 
And so might any of the hunters ; and what is the dif- 
ference in the sport, but the name ? In the former case, 
having killed one of God's and your own oxen, you strip 
off its hide, — because that is the common trophy, and, 
moreover, you have heard that it may be sold for moc- 
casins, — cut a steak from its haunches, and leave the 
huge carcass to smell to heaven for you. It is no better, 
at least, than to assist at a slaughter-house. 

This afternoon's experience suggested to me how base 
or coarse are the motives which commonly carry men 
into the wilderness. The explorers and lumberers gen- 
erally are all hireling*, paid so much a day for their 

— ' labor, and as such they have no more love for wild 
nature than wood-sawyers have for forests. Other white 
men and Indians who come here are for the most pait 
hunters, whose object is to slay as many moose and 
•ther wild animals as possible. But, pray, could no> 


»ne spLi)(l some weeks or years in the solitude of this 
rast wilderness with other employments than these, — 
em[)loyments perfectly sweet and innocent and enno- 
bling? For one that comes with a pencil to sketch or 
sing, a thousand come with an axe or rifle. What a 
coarse Juid imperfect use Indians and hunters make of 
Nature ! No wonder that their race is so soon exter 
minnted. I already, and for weeks afterward, felt my 
nature the coar>er for this part of ray woodland ex- 
perience, and was reminded that our life should be 
lived as tenderly and daintily as one would pluck a 

With these thoughts, when we reached our camping- 
ground, I decided to leave my companions to continue 
moose-hunting down the stream, while. I prepared the 
camp, though they requested me not to chop much nor 
make a large fire, for fear I should scare their game. 
In the midst of the damp fir-wood, high on the mossy 
bank, about nine o'clock of this bright moonlight night, 
I kindled a fire, when they were gone, and, sitting on 
the fir-twigs, within sound of the falls, examined by its 
light the botanical specimens which I had collected that 
afternoon, and wrote down some of the reflections which 
I have here expanded ; or I walked along the shore and 

gazed up the stream, where the whole space above the^ S-V^f" 

falls was filled with mellow light. ^*^ As I sat before the c^^^ 

fire on my fir-twig seat, without walls above or around 
me, I remembered how far on every hand that wilder- 
ness stretched, before you came to cleared or cultivated 
fields, and wondered if any bear or moose was watchiug 
the light of my fire ; for Nature looked sternly upon me 
on account of the murder of the moose. 

Strange that so few evfr come to the woods to see 


how the pine lives and grows and spires, lifting its e<er« 
green arms to the light, — to see its perfect success ; but 
most are content to behold it in the shape of many 
broad bi^ards brought to market, and deem that its truo 
success ! But the pine is no more lumber than man. is, 
and to be made into boards and houses is no more its 
true and highest use than the truest use of a man is to 
be cut down and made into manure. There is a higher 
law affecting our relation to pines as well as to men. A 
pine cut down, a dead pine, is no more a pine than a 
iead human carcass is a man. Can he who has discov- 
ered only some of the values of whalebone and whale 
oil be said to have discovered the true use of the whale ? 
Can he who slays the elephant for his ivory be srad to 
have "seen the elephant"? These are petty and acci- 
dental uses ; just as if a stronger race were to kill 'is in 
order to make buttons and flageolets of our bonea ; for 
everything may serve a lower as well as a higher 98e. 
Every creature is better alive than dead, men and rv<>ose 
and pine-trees, and he who understands it aright will 
rather preserve its life than destroy it. ■^ y\0\ 

Is it the lumberman, then, who is the friend and lover 
of the pine, stands nearest to it, and understands its 
nature best? Is it the tanner who has barked it, or be 
who has boxed it for turpentine, whom posterity will 
table to have been changed into a pine at last? No! 
no ! it is the poet ; he it is who makes the truest use of 
the pine, — who does not fondle it with an axe, nor 
tickle it with a saw, nor stroke it with a plane, — who 
knows whether its heart is false without cutting into it, 
— who has not bought the sturapage of the township on 
which it stands. All the pines shudder and heave a sigh 
when thai man steps on the forest floor. No, it is th« 


poet, who loves tliem as his own shadow in the air, and 
lets them stand. I have been into tlie lumber-yard, and 
the carpenter's shop, and the tannery, and the lampblack- 
factory, and the turpentine clearing ; but when at length 
I saw the tops of the pines waving and reflecting the 
light at a distance high over all the rest of the forest, I 
realized that the former were not the highest use of the 
pine. It is not their bones or hide or tallow that I love 
most. It is the living spirit of the tree, not its spirit of 
turpentine, with whicb I sympathize, and which heals 
my cuts. It is as immortal as I am, and perchance will 
yo to as high a heaven, there to tower above me still. 

Erelong, the hunters returned, not having seen a 
moose, but, in consequence of my suggestions, bringing 
a quarter of the dead one, which, with ourselves, made 
quite a load for the canoe. 

After breakfasting on moose-meat, we returned down 
Pine Stream on our way to Chesuncook Lake, which 
was about five miles distant. "We could see the red car- 
cass of the moose lying in Pine Stream when nearly 
half a mile off. Just below the mouth of this stream 
were the most considerable rapids between the two 
lakes, called Pine-Stream Falls, where were large flat 
rocks washed Smooth, and at this time you could easily 
wade across above tJiem. Joe ran down alone while we 
walked over the portage, my companion collecting spruce 
gum for his friends at home, and I looking for flowers. 
Near the lake, which we were approaching with as much 
expectation as if it had been a university, — for it is not 
often that the stream of our life opens into such expan- 
sions, — were islands, and a low and meadowy shore 
with scattered trees, birches, white and yellow, slanted 
aver the water, and maples, — many of tlie white birchea 


killed, apparently by inundations. There was consider 
able native grass ; and even a few cattle — whose move 
ments we heard, though we did not see them, mistaking 
them at first for moose — were pastured there. 

On entering the lake, where the stream runs scuth- 
easterly, and for some time before, we had a view of the 
mountains about Ktaadn, (Katahdinauquoh one says 
they are called,) like a cluster of blue fungi of rank 
growth, apparently twenty-five or thirty miles distant, in 
a southeast direction, their summits concealed by clouds. 
Joe called some of them the Souadneunk mountains. 
This is the name of a stream there, which another In- 
dian told us meant " Running between mountains." 
Though some lower summits were afterward uncovered, 
we got no more complete view of Ktaadn while we were 
in the woods. The clearing to which we were bound 
was on the right of the mouth of the river, and waa 
reached by going round a low point, where the water 
was shallow to a great distance from the shore. Che- 
Buncook Lake extends northwest and southeast, and is 
called eighteen miles long and three wide, without an 
island. We had entered the northwest corner of it, and 
when near the shore could see only part way down it. 
The principal mountains visible from the land here were 
those already mentioned, between southeast and cast, 
and a few summits a little west of north, but generally 
the north and northwest horizon about the St. John and 
the Bi'itish boundary was comparatively level. 

Ansell Smith's, the oldest and principal clearing about 
this lake, appeared to be quite a harbor for bateaux and 
canoes ; seven or eight of the former were lying about 
and there was a small scow for hay, and a capstan on » 
platform, now high and dry, ready to be floated and an 


shored to tow rafts with. It was a very primitive kind 
of harbor, where boat-s were drawn up amid the stumps, 
— such a one, methought, as the Argo might have been 
launched in. There were five other huts with small 
deai'ings on the opposite side of the lake, all at this end 
and visible from this point. One of the Smiths told me 
tliat it was so far cleared that they came here to live 
and built the present house four years before, though 
the fiimily had been here but a few months. 

I was interested to see how a pioneer lived on this 
side of the country. His life is in some respects more 
adventurous than that of his brother in the West; for 
he contends with winter as well as the wilderness, and 
there is a greater interval of time at least between him 
and the army which is to follow. Here immigration is a 
tide which may ebb when it has swept away the pines ; 
there it is not a tide, but an inundation, and roads and 
other improvements come steadily rushuig after. 

As we approached the log-house, a dozen rods from 
the lake, and considerably elevated above it, the project- 
ing ends of the logs lapping over each other irregularly 
several feet at the corners gave it a very rich and pictu- 
resque look, far removed from the meanness of weather- 
boardo. It was a very spacious, low building, about 
eighty feet long, with many large apartments. The walls 
were well clayed between the logs, which were large and 
round, except on the upper and under sides, and as vis- 
'ble inside as out, successive bulging cheeks gradually 
^ssening upwards and tuned to eacfc other with the axe, 
like Pandean pipes. Probably the musical forest-gods had 
not yet cast them aside ; they never Jo till they are split 
or the bark is gone. It was a style of architecture not 
described by Vitruvius, I suspect, though possibly hinted 


Bt in the biography of Orpheus ; none of your frilled 
or fluted columns, which have cut such a false swell 
and support nothing but a gable end and their builder's 
pretensions, — that is, with the multitude ; and as for 
"ornamentation," one of those words with a dead tail 
which architects very properly use to describe their flour- 
ishes, there were the lichens and mosses and fringes of 
bark, which nobody troubled himself about. We cer- 
tainly leave the handsomest paint and clapboards be- 
hind in the woods, when we strip oif the bark and poison 
ourselves with white-lead in the towns. We get but 
half the spoils of the forest. For beauty, give me trees 
with the fur on. This house was designed and con- 
structed with the freedom of stroke of a forester's axe, 
without other compass and square than Nature uses. 
Wherever the logs were cut off" by a window or door, 
that is, were not kept in place by alternate overlapping, 
they were held one upon another by very large pin-?, 
driven in diagonally on each side, where branches might 
have been, and then cut off so close up and down as not 
to project beyond the bulge of the log, as if the logs 
clasped each other in their arms. These logs were posts, 
studs, boards, clapboards, laths, plaster, and nails, all in 
one. Where the citiziih uses a mere sliver or board, the 
pioneer uses the whol6 trunk of a tree. The house had 
large stone chimneysl and was roofed with spruce-bark. 
The windows were imported, a'l but the casings. One 
end was a regular logger's camp, for the boarders, with 
the usual fir floor and log benches. Thus this house was 
but a slight departure from the hollow tree, which the 
bear still inhabits, — being a hollow made with trees 
piled up, with a coating of bark like its original. 

The cellar was a separate building, like an ice>house 


Mid it answered for a refrigerator at this season, our 
tnoose-meat being kept there. It was a potato-hole with 
a permanent roof. Each structure and institution here 
was so primitive that you could at once refer it to ils 
source ; but our buildings commonly suggest neither their 
origin nor their purpose. There was a large, and what 
farmers would call handsome, barn, part of whose boards 
had been sawed by a whip-saw ; and the saw-pit, with its 
great pile of dust, remained before the house. The long 
split shingles on a portion of the barn were laid a foot 
to the weather, suggesting what kind of weather they 
have there. Grant's barn at Caribou Lake was said to 
be still larger, the biggest ox-nest in the woods, fifty feet 
by a liundred. Think of a monster barn in that primi- 
tive forest lifting its gray back above the tree-tops ! 
Man makes very much 8uch a nest for his domestic ani- 
mals, of withered grass and fodder, as the squirrels and 
many other wild creatures do for themselves. 

There was also a blacksmith's shop, where plainly a 
good deal of work was done. The oxen and horses used 
in lumbering operations were shod, and all the iron-work 
of sleds, etc., was repaired or made here. I saw them 
load a bateau at the Moosehead carry, the next Tuesday, 
with about thirteen hundred weight of bar iron for this 
shop. Tliis reminded me how primitive and honorable 
a trade was Vulcan's. I do not hear that there was any 
carpenter or tailor among the gods. The smith seems to 
have preceded these and every other mechanic at Che- 
suncook as well as on Olympus, and his family is the 
most widely dispersed, whether he be christened John or 

Smith owned two miles down the lake by half a mile 
b width. There were about one hundred acres cleared 


here. He cut seventy tons of English h&y this year on 
this ground, and twenty more on another clearing, and 
he uses it all himself in lumbering operations. The bam 
was crowded with pressed hay and a machine to press it 
There was a large garden full of roots, turnips, beets, car- 
rots, p-ttatoes, etc., all of great size. They said that they 
were w.)rth as much here as in New York. I sugges'ed 
some currants for sauce, especially as they had no apple- 
trees set out, and showed how easily they could be ob- 

There was the usual long-handled axe of the primitive 
woods by the door, three and a half feet long, — for my 
new black -ash rule was in constant use, — and a large, 
ghaggy dog, whose nose, report said, was full of porcu- 
pine quills. I can testify that he looked very sober. 
This is the usual fortune of pioneer dogs, for they have 
to face the brunt of the battle for their race, and act the 
part of Arnold Winkelried without intending it. If he 
should invite one of his town friends up this way, sug- 
gesting moose-meat and unlimited freedom, the latter 
might pertinently inquire, " What is that sticking in your 
nose ? " When a generation or two have used up all the 
enemies' darts, their successors lead a comparatively easy 
life. We owe to our fathers analogous blessings. Many 
old people receive pensions for no other reason, it setma 
to me, but as a compensation for having lived a long 
time ago. No doubt our town dogs still talk, in a snuf- 
fling way, about the days that tried dogs' noses. How 
they got a cat up there I do not know, for they are aa 
shy as ray aunt about entering a canoe. I wondered 
that she did not run up a tree on the way; but perhaps 
Bho was bewildered by the very crowd of opportunities 

Twenty or thirty lumberers, Yankee and Canadian, 


were comhig and going, — Aleck among the rest, — and 
from time to time an Indian touched here. In the win- 
ter there are sometimes a hundred men lodged here at 
once. The most interesting piece of news that circulated 
among them appeared to be, that four horses belonging 
to Smith, worth seven hundred dollars, had passed by 
farther into the woods a week before. 

The white-pine-tree was at the bottom or farther end 
of all this. It is a war against the pines, the only real 
Aroostook or Penobscot war. I have no doubt that they 
lived pretty much the same sort of life in the Homeric 
age, for men have always thought more of eating than 
of fighting ; then, as now, their minds ran chiefly on the 
"hot bread and sweet cak^^s"; and the fur and lumber 
trade is an old story to Asia and Europe. I doubt if 
men ever made a trade of heroism. In the days of 
Achilles, even, they delighted in big barns, and perchance 
in pressed hay, and he who possessed the most valuable 
team was the best fellow. 

We had designed to go on at evening up the Caucom- 
gomoc, whose mouth was a mile or two distant, to the 
lake of the same name, about ten miles off; but some 
Indians of Joe's acquaint^mce, who were making canoes 
on the Caucomgomoc, came over from that side, and gave 
so poor an account of the moose-hunting, so many had 
been killed there lately, that my companions concluded 
not to go there. Joe spent this Sunday and the night 
with his acquaintances. The lumberers told me that 
there were many moose hereabouts, but no caribou or 
deer. A man from Oldtown had killed ten or twelve 
moose, within a year, so near the house that they heard 
all his guns. His name may have been Hercules, for 
aught I know, though I should i"ither have expected to 


hear the rattling of his club ; but, no doubt, he keeps 
pace with the improvements of the age, and uses a 
Sharpe's rifle now ; probably he gets all his armor made 
and repai''ed at Smith's shop. One moose had been 
killed and another shot at within sight of the house 
within two years. I do not know whether Smith has yet 
got a poet to look after the cattle, which, on account o£ 
the early breaking up of the ice, are compelled to sum- 
mer in the woods, but I would suggest this office to such 
of my acquaintances as love to write verses and go a- 

After a dinner, at which apple-sauce was the greatest 
luxury to me, but our moose-meat was oftenest called for 
by the lumberers, I walked across the clearing into the 
forest, southward, returning along the shore. For my 
dessert, I helped myself to a large slice of the Chesun- 
cook woods, and took a hearty draught of its waters with 
all my senses. The woods were as fresh and full of 
vegetable life as a lichen in wet weather, and contained 
many interesting plants ; but unless they are of white 
pine, they are treated with as little respect here as a 
mildew, and in the other case they are only the more 
quickly cut down. The shore was of coarse, flat, slate 
rocks, often in slabs, with the surf beating on it. The 
rocks and bleached drift-logs, extending some way into 
the shaggy woods, showed a rise and fall of six or eight 
feet, caused partly by the dam at the outlet. They said 
that in winter the snow was three feet deep on a level 
here, and sometimes four or five, — that the ice on the 
lake was two feet thick, clear, and four feet including 
the snow-ice. Ice had already formed in vessels. 

We lodged here this Sunday night in a comfortable 
bedroom, apparently the best one; and all that I noticed 


unusual in the night — for I still kept taking notes, like 
a spy in the camp — was the creaking of the thin split 
board;, when any of our neighbors stirred. 

Such were the first rude beginnings of a town. They 
Bpnke of the practicability of a winter-road to the Moose- 
head carry, which would not cost mucli, and would con- 
nect them with steam and stinging and all the busy world. 
I almost doubted if the lake would be there, — the self- 
same lake, — preserve its form and identity, when the 
shores should be cleared and settled ; as if these lakes 
and streams which explorers report never awaited the 
advent of the citizen. 

The sight of one of these frontier-houses, built of these 
great logs, whose inhabitants have unflinchingly main- 
tained their ground many summers and winters in the 
wilderness, reminds me of famous forts, like Ticonderoga 
or Crown Point, which have sustained memorable sieges. 
They are especially winter-quarters, and at this season 
this one had a partially deserted look, as if the siege were 
raised a little, the snow-banks being melted from before 
it, and its garrison accordingly reduced. I think of their 
daily food as rations, — it is called " supplies " ; a Bible 
and a great-coat are munitions of war, and a single man 
seen about the premises is a sentinel on duty. You 
expect that he will require the countersign, and will per- 
chance take you for Ethan Allen, come to demand the 
surrender of his fort in the name of the Continental Con- 
gress. It is a sort of ranger service. Arnold's expedi* 
tion is a daily experience with these settlers. They can 
prove that they were out at almost any time ; and I think 
that all the first generation of them deserve a pension 
more than any that went to the ]\I''xican war. 

Early the next morning we started on our return up 


the Penobscot, my companion wishing to go about twen* 
ty-five miles above the Moosehead carry to a camp neai 
the junction of the two forks, and look for moose therd. 
Our host allowed us something for the quarter of the 
moose which we had brought, and which he was glad 
to get. Two explorers from Chamberlain Lake started 
at the same time that we did. Red-flannel shirts should 
be worn in the Avoods, if only for the fine contrast which 
this color makes with the evergreens and the water. 
Thus I thought when I saw the forms of the explorers 
in their birch, poling up the rapids before us, far off 
against the forest. It is the surveyor's color also, most 
distinctly seen under all circumstances. We stopped 
to dme at Ragmuff, as before. My companion it was 
who wandered up the stream to look for moose this 
time, while Joe went to sleep on the bank, so that we 
felt sure of him ; and I improved the opportunity to 
botajiize and bathe. Soon after starting again, while 
Joe was gone back in the canoe for the frying-pan, 
which had been left, we picked a couple of quarts of 
tree-cranberries for a sauce. 

I was surprised ^by Joe's asking me how far it was 
to the Moosehorn. He was pretty well acquainted with 
this stream, but he had noticed that I was curious about 
distances, and had several maps. He, and Indians 
generally, with whom I have talked, are not able to 
describe dimensions or distances in our measures with 
any accuracy. He could tell perhaps, at what time we 
should arrive, but not how far it was. We saw a few 
wood-ducks, sheldrakes, and black ducks, but they were 
not so numerous there at that season as on our river 
at home. AVe scared the same family of wood-ducks 
before us, going and returning. We also heard th« 


note of one fish-hawk, somewhat like that of a pigeon- 
woodpecker, and soon after saw him percled near the 
top of a dead white-pine against the island where we 
had first campo.l, while a company of peetweets were 
twittering and teetering about over the carcass of a 
moose on a low sandy spit just beneath. We drove the 
fish-hawk from perch to perch, each time eliciting a 
Bcream or whistle, for many miles before us. Our 
course being up-stream, we were obliged to work much 
harder than before, and had frequent use for a pole. 
Sometimes all three of us paddled together, standing 
up, small and hea\aly laden as the canoe was. About 
six miles from Moosehead, we began to see the moun- 
tains east of the north end of the lake, and at four 
o'clock we reached the carry. 

Tlie Indians were still encamped here. There were 
three, including the St. Francis Indian who had come 
in the steamer with us. One of the others was called 
Sabattis. Joe and the St. Francis Indian were plainly 
clear Indian, the other two apparently mixed Indian and 
white; but tlie difference was confined to their features 
and complexions, for all tliat I could see. We here 
cooked the tongue of the moose for supper, — liaving 
left the nose, which is esteemed the choicest part, at 
^llhcsuncook, boiling, it being a good deal of trouble to 
prepare it. We also stewed our tree-cranberries, ( Vt- 
humum opulus,) sweetening them with sugar. The 
lumberers sometimes cook them with molasses. They 
weru used in Arnold's expedition. This sauce was very 
grateful to us who had been confined to hard bread, 
pork, and moose-meat, and, notwitiistanding their feeds, 
we all tliree pronounced them ecjual to the common 
cranben-y ; hut perhaps some allowance is t/» l»e made 


for our forest appetites. It would be worth the while 
to cultivate them, both for beauty and for food. 1 
afterward saw them in a garden in Bangor. Joe said 
that they were called ebeemenar. 

While we were getting supper, Joe commenced curing 
t\ e moose-hide, on which I had sat a good part of tiie 
voyage, he having already cut most of the hair off with 
his knife at the Caucomgomoc. He set up two stout 
forked poles on the bank, seven or eight feet high, and 
as much asunder east and west, and having cut slits 
eight or ten inches long, and the same distance apart, 
close to the edge, on the sides of the hide, he threaded 
poles through them, and then, placing one of the poles 
on the forked stakes, tied the other down tightly at the 
bottom. The two ends also were tied with cedar-bark, 
their usual string, to the upright poles, through small 
holes at short intervals. The hide, thus stretched, and 
slanted a little to the north, to expose its flesh side to 
the sun, measured, in the extreme, eight feet long by 
six high. Where any flesh still adhered, Joe boldly 
scored it with his knife to lay it open to the sun. It 
now appeared somewhat spotted and injured by the duck 
shot. You may see the old frames on which hides have 
been stretched at many camping-places in these woods. 

For some reason or other, the going to the forks of 
the Penobscot was given up, and we decided to stop 
here, my companion intending to hunt down the stream 
at night. The Indians invited us to lodge with them, 
but my companion inclined to go to the log-camp on 
>he carry. This camp was close and dirty, and had an 
ill smell, and I preferred to accept the Indians' offer 
if we did not make a camp for ourselves ; tor, thougl 
^ey were dirty, too, they were more in the open air 


and were mucli more agreeable, and even refined com- 
pany, than the lumberers. The most interesting ques- 
tion entertained at the lumberers' camp was, which man 
could " handle " any other on the carry ; and, for the 
most part, tliey possessed no qualities which you could 
not lay hands on. So we went to the Indiana' camp or 

It was rather windy, and therefore Joe concluded to 
hunt after midnight, if the wind went down, which the 
other Indians thought it would not do, because it was 
from the south. The two mixed-bloods, however, went 
off up the river for moose at dark, before we arrived 
at their camp. This Indian camp was a slight, patched- 
up affair, which had stood there several weeks, built 
shed-fashion, open to the fire on the west. If the wi»d 
changed, they could turn it round. It was formed by 
two forked stakes and a cross-bar, with rafters slanted 
from this to the ground. The covering was partly an 
old sail, partly birch-bark, quite imperfect, but securely 
tied on, and coming down to the ground on the sides. 
A large log was rolled up at the back side for a head- 
board, and two or three moose-hides were spread on 
*.he ground with the hair up. Various articles of tlieir 
wardrobe were tucked around the sides and corners, or 
under the roof. They were smoking moose-meat on just 
euch a crate as is represented by With, in I)e Bry'a 
" Collectio Peregrinationum," published in 1588, and 
which the natives of Brazil called boucan, (whence buc- 
caneer,) on whict were frequently shown pieces of 
iiuman flesh drying along with the rest It was erected 
in front of the camp over the usual large fire, in the 
form of an oblong square. ^ Two stout forked stakes, 
four or five feet apart and five feet high, Avere driven 


into the ground at each end, and then two poles ten feet 
long were stretched across over the fire, and smaller 
ones laid transversely on these a foot apart. On the 
last hung large, thin slices of moose-meat smoking and 
drying, a space being left open over the centre of the 
fire. There was the whole heart, black as a thirty-two 
pound ball, hanging at one corner. They said, that it 
took three or four days to cure this meat, and it would 
keep a year or more. Refuse pieces lay about on the 
ground in different stages of decay, and some pieces 
also in the fire, half buried and sizzling in the ashes, 
as black and dirty as an old shoe. These last I at first 
thought were thrown away, but afterwards found that 
they were being cooked. Also a tremendous rib-piece 
\fas roasting before the fire, being impaled on an upright 
stake forced in and out between the ribs. There was a 
moose-hide stretched and curing on poles like ours, and 
quite a pile of cured skins close by. They had killed 
twenty-two moose within two months, but, as they couh 
use but very little of the meat, they left the carcassej 
on the ground. Altogether it was about as savage t 
sight as was ever witnessed, and I was carried back a- 
once three hundred years. '^ There wex'e many torche? 
of birch-bark, shaped hke straight tin horns, lying ready 
for use on a stump outside. 

For fear of dirt, we spread our blankets over their 
hides, so as not to touch them anywhere. The St. Fran- 
cis Indian and Joe alone were there at first, and we lay 
on our backs talking with them tili midnight. They 
ffere very sociable, and, when they did not talk with us, 
kept up a steady chatting in their own language. "We 
heard a small bird just after dark, which, Joe said, sang 
at a certain hour in the night, — at ten o'clock, he 


believed. We also heard the hylodes and tree-toads, 
and the lumbcers singing in their camp a quarter of a 
mile off. I told them that I had seen j)ictured in old 
hooks pieces of human Hesh drying on these crates ; 
whereupon they repeated some tradition about the Mo- 
hawks eating human flesh, what parts they preferred, 
etc., and also of a battle with the Moliawks near Moose- 
head, ir which many of the latter were killed ; but I 
found that they knew but little of the history of their 
race, and could be entertained by stories about their 
ancestors as readily as any way. At first I was nearly 
roasted out, for I lay against one side of the camp, and 
felt the heat reflected not only from the birch-bark above, 
but from the side ; and again 1 remembered the suffer- 
ings of the Jesuit missionaries, and what extremes of 
heat and cold the Indians were said to endure. I strug- 
gled long between my desire to remain and talk with 
them, and my impulse to rush out and stretch myself on 
the cool grass ; and when I was about to take the last 
step, Joe, hearing my murmurs, or else being uncomfort- 
able himself, got up and partially dispersed the fire. I 
suppose that that is Indian manners, — to defend your- 

While lying there listening to the Indians, I amused 
myself with trying to guess at their subject by their 
gestures, or some pi'oper name introduced. There can 
be no more startling evidence of their being a distinct 
and comparatively aboriginal race, than to hear this unal- 
tered Indian language, which the white man cannot speak 
nor understand. We may suspect change and deteriora- 
tion in almost every other particular, but the language 
which is so wholly unintelligible to us. It took me by 
wr|)rise, though I had found so many arrow-heads, and 


convince^ me that the Indian was not the invention of 
historians and poets. It was a purely wild and primitive 
American sound, as much as the barking of a chickaree^ 
and I could not understand a syllable of it ; but Paugus, 
had he been there, would have understood it. These 
Abenakis gossiped, laughed, and jested, in the language 
in which Eliot's Indian Bible is written, the language 
which has been spoken in New England who shall say 
how long ? These were the sounds that issued from the 
wigwams of this country before Columbus was born ; 
they have not yet died away ; and, with remarkably few 
exceptions, the language of their forefathers is still copi- 
ous enough for them. I felt that I stood, or rather lay, 
as near to the primitive man of America, that night, as 
any of its discoverers ever did. 

In the midst of their conversation, Joe suddenly ap- 
pealed to me to know how long Moosehead Lake was. 

Meanwhile, as we lay there, Joe was making and try- 
ing his horn, to be ready for hunting after midnight. 
The St. Francis Indian also amused himself with sound- 
ing it, or rather calling through it ; for the sound is made 
with the voice, and not by blowing through the horn. 
The latter appeared to be a speculator in moose-hidep 
He bought my companion's for two dollars and a quarter, 
green. Joe said that it was worth two and a half at Old- 
town. Its chief use is for moccasins. One or two of 
these Indians wore them. I was told, that, by a recent 
law of Maine, foreigners are not allowed to kill moose 
there at any season ; white Americans can kill them only 
at a particular season, but the Indians of Maine at all 
Beasons. The St. Francis Indian accordingly asked my 
companion for a wighiggin, or bill, to show, since he was 
n foreigner. He lived near Sorel. I found that be ooultf 


wrrite his name very well, Tahmunt Swasen. One Ellis, 
an old white man of Guilford, a town through which we 
passed, not far from the south end of Moosehead, was the 
most celebrated moose-hunter of those parts. Indians 
and whites spoke with equal respect of him. Tahmunt 
said, that there were more moose here than in the Adi- 
rondack country in New York, where he had hunt(.'d ; 
that three years before there were a great many about, 
and thare were a gi*eat many now in the woods, but they 
did not come out to the water. It was of no use to hunt 
them at midnight, — they would not come out then. I 
asked Sabattis, after he came home, if the moose never 
attacked him. He answered, that you must not fire many 
times so as to mad him. " I fire once and hit him in the 
right place, and in the morning I find him. He won't 
go far. But if you keep firing, you mad him. I fired 
once five bullets, every one through the heart, and he 
did not mind 'em at all ; it only made him more mad." 
I asked him if they did not hunt them with dogs. He 
said, that they did so in winter, but never in the summer, 
for then it was of no use ; they would run right off 
straight and swiftly a hundred miles. 

Another Indian said, that the moose, once scared, would 
run all day. A dog will hang to their lips, and be car- 
ried along till he is swung against a tree and drops off. 
They cannot run on a " glaze," though they can run in 
snow four feet deep ; but the caribou can run on ice. 
Vhey commonly find two or three moose together. They 
iX)ver themselves with water, all but their noses, to escape 
(lies. He had the herns of M'hat he called " the black 
aioose that goes in low lands." These spread three or 
(our feet. The "red moose" was another kind, "run- 
oing on mountains," and had horns which spread six feet. 


Such were his distinctions. Both can move their horns, 
The broad flat blades are covered with hair, and are so 
soft, when the animal is alive, that you can run a knife 
through them. They regard it as a good or bad sign, if 
the horns turn this way or that. His caribou horns had 
been gnawed by mice in his wigwam, but he thought that 
the horns neither of the moose nor of the caribou were 
ever gnawed while the creature was alive, as some have 
asserted. An Indian, whom I met after this at Oldtown, 
who had carried about a bear and other animals of Maine 
to exhibit, told me that thirty years ago there were not 
so many moose in Maine as now ; also, that the moose 
were very easily tamed, and would come back when once 
fed, and so would deer, but not caribou. Tlie Indians of 
this neighborhood are about as familiar with the moose 
as we are with the ox, having associated with them for 
60 many generations. Father Rasles, in his Dictionary 
of the Abenaki Language, gives not only a word for the 
male moose, (aianbe,) and another for the female, (Jierar,) 
but for the bone which is in the middle of the heart of 
the moose (!), and for his left hind-leg. 

There were none of the small deer up there ; they are 
more common about the settlements. One ran into the 
city of Bangor two years before, and jumped through a 
window of costly plate glass, and then into a mirror, 
where it thought it recognized one of its kind, and out 
again, and so on, leaping over the heads of the crowd, 
until it was captured. This the inhabitants speak of as 
the deer that went a-shopping. The last-mentioned In- 
dian spoke of the lunxus or Indian devil, (which I take to 
\)e the cougar, and not the Gulo luscus,) as the only aniraa. 
in Maine which man need fear ; it would follow a man. 
Wd did not mind a fire. He also said, tiiat beaver* 


were getting to be pretty numerous again, where we went, 
but their skins brought so little now that it was not prof- 
itable to hunt them. 

I had put the ears of our moose, which were ten inch<!9 
long, to dry along with the moose-meat over the fire, 
wishing tc preserve them ; but Sabattis told me that 1 
niust skir. and cure them, else the hair would all come 
off. He observed, that they made tobacco-pouches of the 
skins of their ears, putting the two together inside to in- 
side. I asked him how he got fire ; and he produced a 
little cylindrical box of friction-matches. He also had 
flints and steel, and some punk, which was not dry ; 1 
think it was from the yellow birch. " But suppose you 
upset, and all these and your powder get wet." " Then," 
Eaid he, " we wait till we get to where there is some fire." 
I produced from my pocket a little vial, containing 
matches, stoppled water-tight, and told him, that, though 
we were upset, we should still have some dry matches ; 
at which he stared without saying a word. 

We lay awake thus a long while talking, and they gave 
us the meaning of many Indian names of lakes and 
streams in the vicinity, — especially Tahmunt. I asked 
the Indian name of Moosehead Lake. Joe answered, 
Sebamook ; Tahmunt pronounced it Sebemooh When 
I asked what it meant, they answered, Moosehead Lake. 
At length, getting my meaning, they alternately repeated 
the word over to themselves, as a philologist might, — 
Sebamook, — Sebamook, — now and then comparing notes 
in Indian ; for there was a slight difference in their di- 
alects; and finally Tahmunt said, "Ugh! I know," — 
and he rose up partly on the moose-hide, — " like as here 
'is a place, and there is a place," pointing to different 
paKs of the hide, "and you take water from there and 


fill this, and it stays here ; that is Sebamook." I under- 
stood him to mean that it was a reservoir of water which 
did not run away, the river coming in on one side and 
passing out again near the same place, leaving a perma- 
nent bay. Another Indian said, that it meant Large- 
Bay Lake, and that Sebago and Sebec, the names ot 
other lakes, were kindred words, meaning large open 
water. Joe said that Seboois meant Little River. I 
observed their inability, often described, to convey an 
abstract idea. Having got the idea, though indistinctly, 
they groped about in vain for words with which to ex- 
press it. Tahmunt thought that the whites called it 
Moosehead Lake, because Mount Kineo, which com- 
mands it, is shaped like a moose's head, and that Moose 
River was so called " because the mountain points right 
across the lake to its mouth." John Josselyn, writing 
about 1 673, says, " Twelve miles from Casco Bay, and 
passable for men and horses, is a lake, called by the In- 
dians Sebug. On the brink thereof, at one end, is the 
famous rock, shaped like a moose deer or helk, diaph- 
anous, and called the Moose Rock." He appears to have 
confounded Sebamook with Sebago, which is nearer, but 
has no " diaphanous " rock on its shore. 

I give more of their definitions, for what they are 
worth, — partly because they differ sometimes from the 
commonly received ones. They never analyzed these 
words before. After long deliberation and repeating of 
the word, for it gave much trouble, Tahmunt said that 
Chesuncook meant a place where many streams emptied 
in (?), and he enumerated them, — Penobscot, Umba- 
zookskus, Cusabesex, Red Brook, etc. — " CaucomgomoCy 
— what iocs that mean ? " " What are those large white 
birds?" he asked. ''Gulls," said L "Ugh! Gul 


Ijake.'" — Pammadumcook, Joe thought, meant the Lake 
with Gravelly Bottom or Bed. — Kenduskeag, Tahmunt 
concluded at last, after asking if birches went up it, for he 
Baid that he was not much acquainted with it, meant some- 
thing like this : " You go up Penobscot till you come to 
Kenduskeag, and you go by, you don't turn up there. 
That is Kenduskeag." (?) Another Indian, however, 
wJio knew the river better, told us afterward that it 
meant Little Eel River. — Mattawamkeag was a place 
where two rivers meet. (?) — Penobscot was Rocky 
River. One writer says, that this was " originally the 
name of only a section of the main channel, from the 
head of the tide-water to a short distance above Old- 

A very intelligent Indian, whom we afterward met, 
son-in-law of Neptune, gave us also these other defi- 
nitions: — Umbazookskus, Meadow Stream; 3Iillinoket, 
Place of Islands ; Aboljacarmegus, Smooth-Ledge Falls 
(and Dead- Water) ; Aboljacarmeguscook, the stream 
emptying in ; (the last was the word he gave when I 
asked about Aboljacknagesic, which he did not recog- 
nize ;) Mattahumkeag, Sand-Creek Pond ; Piscataquis^ 
Branch of a River. 

I asked our hosts what Musketaquid, the Indian name 
>. f Concord, Massachusetts, meant ; but they changed it 
to Musketicook, and repeated that, and Tahmunt said that 
it meant Dead Stream, which is probably true. Cook 
Appears to mean stream, and perhaps quid signifies the 
vlace or ground. "When I asked the meaning of the 
names of two of our hills, they answered that they were 
another language. As Tahmunt said tliat he traded at 
Quebec, my companion inquired the meaning of the word 
Quebec, about which there has been so much question, 
7 / 


He did not know, but began to conjecture. He asked 
what those great ships were called that carried soldiera 
" Men-of-war," we answered. " Well," he said, " when 
the English ships came up the river, they could not go 
any farther, it was so nari-ow there ; they must go back, 
— go-back, — that 's Quo-bee." I mention this to show 
the value of his authority in the other cases. 

Late at night the other two Indians came home from 
moose-hunting, not having been successful, aroused the 
fire again, lighted their pipes, smoked awhile, took some- 
thing strong to drink, and ate some moose-meat, and, 
finding what room tliey could, lay down on the moose- 
hides ; and thus we passed the night, two white men and 
four Indians, side by side. 

When I awoke in the morning the weather was driz- 
zling. One of the Indians was lying outside, rolled in 
his blanket, on the opposite side of the fire, for want of 
room. Joe had neglected to awake my companion, and 
he had done no hunting that night. Tahmunt was mak- 
ing a cross-bar for his canoe with a singularly shaped 
knife, such as I have since seen other Indians using. 
The blade was thin, about three quarters of an inch wide, 
and eight or nine inches long, but curved out of its plane 
into a hook, which he said made it more convenient to 
shave with. As the Indians very far north and north- 
west use the same kind of knife, I suspect that it was 
made according to an aboriginal pattern, though some 
white artisans may use a similar one. The Indians 
baked a loaf of flour bread in a spider on its edge before 
Ihe fire for their breakfast; and while ray companion was 
making tea, I caught a dozen sizable fishes in the Pe- 
Sobscot, two kinds of sucker and one trout. After we 
had breakfasted by ourselves, one of our bedfellows, whf 


had also breakfasted, came along, and, being invited, 
took a cup of tea, and finally, taking up the common 
platter, licked it clean. But he was nothing to a wliite 
fellow, a lumberer, who was continually stuffing hinisolf 
with the Indians' moose-meat, and was the butt of his 
fompanions accordingly. He seems to have thought that 
it was a feast " to eat all." It is commonly said that the 
white man finally surpasses the Indian on his own 
ground, and it was proved true in this case. I cannot 
swear to his employment during the hours of darkness, 
but I saw him at it again as soon as it was light, though 
he came a quarter of a mile to his work. 

The rain prevented our continuing any longer in the 
woods ; so giving some of our provisions and utensils to 
the Indians, we took leave of them. This being the 
steamer's day, I set out for the lake at once. 

I walked over the carry alone and waited at the head 
of the lake. An eagle, or some other large bird, flew 
screaming away from its perch by the shore at my 
approach. For an hour after I readied the shoi'e there 
was not a human being to be seen, and I had all that 
wide prospect to myself. I thought that I heard the 
sound of the steamer before she came in sight on the open 
lake. I noticed at the landing, when the steamer came 
in, one of our bedfellows, who had been a-moose-hunting 
the night before, now very sprucely dressed in a clean 
white shirt and fine black pants, a true Indian dandy, 
who had evidently come over the carry to show himself 
to any arrivers on the north shore of Moosehead Lake, 
just as New York dandies tak=^- a turn up Broadway and 
iUmd on the steps of a hotel. 

Midway the lake we took on board two manly-looking 
ihiddlo-aged men, will- their bateau, who had been explor* 


ing for six weeks as far as the Canada line, and had let 
their beards grow. They had the skin of a beaver, which 
they had recently caught, stretched on an oval hoop, 
though the fur was not good at that season. I talked 
with one of them, telling him that 1 had come all thii 
'distance partly to see where the white-pine, the Eastern 
stuff of which our houses are built, grew, but that on this 
and a previous excursion into another part of Maine I 
had found it a scarce tree ; and I asked him where I 
must look for it. With a smile, he answered, that he 
could hardly tell me. However, he said that he had 
found enough to employ two teams the next winter in a 
place where there was thought to be none left. What 
was considered a " tip-top " tree now was not looked at 
twenty years ago, when he first went into the business ; 
but they succeeded very well now with what was con- 
sidered quite inferior timber then. The explorer used 
to cut into a tree higher and higher up, to see if it was 
false-hearted, and if there was a rotten heart as big as 
his arm, he let it alone ; but now they cut such a tree, 
and sawed it all around the rot, and it made the very 
best of boards, for in such a case they were never shaky. 
One connected with lumbering operations at Bangor 
told me that the largest pine belonging to his firm, cut 
the previous winter, " scaled " in the woods four thousar d 
five hundred feet, and was worth ninety dollars in tbi 
log at the Bangor boom in Oldtown. They cut a road 
three and a half miles long for this tree alone. He 
bought that the principal locality for the white-pine that 
ame down the Penobscot now was at the head of the 
East Branch and the AUegash, about Webster Stream 
and Eagle and Chamberlain Lakes. Much timber has 
been stolen from the public lands. (Pray, what kind o' 


fbrest>warden is the Public itself?) I heard of one itian 
who, having discovered some particularly fine trees just 
within the boundaries of the public lands, and not daring 
to employ an accomplice, cut them down, and by means 
of block and tackle, without cattle, tumbled them into a 
stream, and so succeeded in getting off with them with- 
out the least assistance. Surely, stealing pine-trees in 
this way is not so mean as robbing hen-roosts. 

We reached Monson that night, and the next day rode 
to Bangor, all the way in the rain again, varying our 
route a little. Some of the taverns on this road, wiiich 
were particularly dirty, were plainly in a transition state 
from the camp to the house. 

The next forenoon we went to Oldtown. One slender 
tld Indian on the Oldtown shore, who recognized my 
companion, was full of mirth and gestures, like a French- 
man. A Catholic priest crossed to the island in the same 
bateau with us. The Indian houses are framed, mostly 
of one story, and in rows one behind another, at the south 
end of the island, with a few scattered ones. I counted 
about forty, not including the church and what my com- 
panion called the council-house. The last, which I sup- 
pose is their town-house, was regularly framed and shin- 
gled like the rest. There were several of two stories, 
quite neat, with front-yards enclosed, and one at least had 
green blinds. Here and there were moose-hides stretched 
and drying about them. There were no cart-paths, nor 
tracks of horses, but foot-paths ; very little land culti- 
vated, but an abundance of weeds, indigenous and natu- 
ralized ; more introduced weeds than useful vegetables, 
ps the Indian is said 'x) cultivate the vices rather than the 
virtues of the whit^i man. Yet this village was cleano 


than I expected, far cleaner than such Irish villages as I 
have seen. The children were not particularly ragged 
nor dirty. The little boys met us with bow in hand and 
arrow on string, and cried, " Put up a cent." Verily, the 
Indian has but a feeble hold on his bow now ; but the 
curiosity of the white man is insatiable, and from the first 
he has been eager to witness this forest accompli: hment. 
That elastic piece of wood with its feathered dart, so sure 
to be unstrung by contact with civilization, will serve for 
the type, the coat-of-arms of the savage. Alas for the 
Hunter Race ! the white man has driven off their game, 
and substituted a cent in its place. I saw an Indian 
woman washing at the water's edge. She stood on a 
rock, and, after dipping the clothes in the stream, laid 
them on the rock, and beat them with a short club. In 
the graveyard, which was crowded with graves, and 
overrun with weeds, I noticed an inscription in Indian, 
painted on a wooden grave-board. There was a large 
wooden cross on the island. 

Since my companion knew him, we called on Gov- 
ernor Neptune, who lived in a little " ten-footer," one of 
the humblest of them all. Personalities are allowable in 
speaking of public men, therefore I will give the particiv 
lars of our visit. He was a-bed. When we entered tne 
room, which was one half of the house, he was sitting on 
the side of the bed. There was a clock hanging in one 
cornel. He had on a black frock-coat, and black pants, 
much worn, white cotton shirt, socks, a red silk handker- 
chief about his neck, and a straw hat. Ilis black hair 
was only slightly grayed. He had very broad cheeks, 
iind his features were decidedly and refreshingly different 
from those of any of the upstart Native American party 
whom I have seen. He was no darker tlian many olo 


«vhit'3 men. He told me that he was eig]/ty-nine ; but 
lio was going a-moose-hunting that fall, as he harl been 
the previous one. Probably his companions did the 
hunting. We saw various squaws dodging about. One 
pat on the bed by his side and helped him out with his 
stories. They were remarkably corpulent, with smooth, 
round faces, apparently full of good-humor. Certjiinly 
our much-abused climate had not dried up their adipos'^ 
substance. While we were there, — for we stayed a 
good while, — one went over to Oldtown, returned and 
cut out a dress, which she had bought, on another bed in 
the room. The Governor said, that " he could remem- 
ber when the moose were much larger ; that they did not 
use to be in the woods, but came out of the water, as all 
deer did. Moose was whale once. Away down Merri- 
mack way, a whale came ashore in a shallow bay. Sea 
went out and left him, and he came up on land a moose. 
What made them know he was a whale was, that at firsts 
before he began to run in bushes, he had no bowels in- 
side, but" and then the squaw who sat on the bed 

by his side, as the Governor's aid, and had been putting 
in a word now and then and confirming the story, asked 
me what we called that soft thing we find along the sea- 
shore. " Jelly-fish," I suggested. " Yes," said he, " no 
bowels, but jelly-fish." 

There may be some truth in what he said about the 
moose growing larger formerly ; for the quaint John Jos- 
selyn, a physician who spent many years in this very dis- 
trict of Maine in the seventeenth century, says, that the 
tips of their horns "are sometimes found to be two fath- 
oms asunder," — and he is particular to tell us that a 
fathom is six feet, — " and [they are] in height, from the 
toe of the fore foot to the pitch of the shoulder, twelw 


foot, both which hath been taken by some of my seep- 
tique readers to be monstrous lies " ; and he adds, 
"There are certain transcendentia in every creature, which 
are the indelible character of God, and which discover 
God." This is a greater dilemma to be caught in than 
is presented by the cranium of the young Bechuana ox, 
appai'ently another of the transcendentia, in the coUec- 
tioa of Thomas Steel, Upper Brook Street, London, 
whose " entire length of horn, from tip to tip, along the 
curve, is 13 ft. 5 in. ; distance (straight) between the 
tips of the horns, 8 ft. 8^ in." However, the size both of 
the moose and the cougar, as I have found, is generally 
rather underrated than overrated, and I should be in- 
clined to add to the popular estimate a part of what I 
subtracted from Josselyn's. 

But we talked mostly with the Governor's son-in-law, 
a very sensible Indian ; and the Governor, being so old 
and deaf, permitted himself to be ignored, while we 
asked questions about him. The former said, that there 
were two political parties among them, — one in favor of 
schools, and the other opposed to them, or rather they 
did not wish to resist the priest, who was opposed to 
them. The first had just prevailed at the election and 
sent their man to the legislature. Neptune and Aitteon 
and he himself were in favor of scliools. He said, " If 
Indians got learning, they would keep their money." 
When we asked where Joe's father, Aitteon, was, he 
knew that he must be at Lincoln, though he was abou; 
going a-moose-hunting, for a messenger had just gone tn 
him there to get his signature to some papers. I asked 
Neptune if they had any of the old breed of dogs yeu 
Ho answered, "Yes." "But that," said I, pointing to 
one that had 'ust come in, "is a Yankee dog." He as- 


gentcd. I that he did not look like a good one. 
'* yes ! " he said, and he told, with much gusto, how, 
the year before, he had caught and held by the throat 
a wolf. A very small black puppy rushed into the room 
and made at the Governor's feet, as he sat in his Ktock- 
ings with his legs dangling from the bedside. The Gov- 
enior rubbed his hands and dared him to come on, en- 
tering into the sport with spirit. Nothing more that was 
significant transpired, to ray knowledge, during this inter- 
view. This was the first time that I ever called on a 
governor, but, as I did not ask for an office, I can speak 
of it with the more freedom. 

An Indian who was making canoes behind a house, 
looking up pleasantly fi'om his work, — for he knew my 
companion, — said that his name was Old John Penny- 
weight. I had heard of him long before, and I inquired 
after one of his contempoi'aries, Joe Four-pence-ha'pen- 
ny ; but, alas ! he no longer circulates. I made a faith- 
ful study of canoe-building, and I thought that I should 
like to serve an apprenticeship at that trade for one sea- 
son, going into the woods for bark with my " boss," mak- 
ing the canoe tliere, and returning in it at last. 

While the bateau was coming over to take us off, I 
picked up some fragments of arrow-heads on the shore, 
and one broken stone chisel, which were greater novel- 
ties to the Indians than to me. After this, on Old Fort 
Hill, at the bend of the Penobscot, three miles above 
Bangor, looking for the site of an Indian town which 
some think stood thereabouts, I found more arrow-heads, 
and two little dark and crumbling fragments of Indian 
earthenware, in the ashe^ of their fires. The Indians on 
the Island appeared to live quite happily and to be well 
treated by the inhabitants of Oldtown. 


We visited Veazie's mills, just below the Island, where 
were sixteen sets of saws, — some gang saws, sixteen in 
R gang, not to mention circular saws. On one side, they 
were hauling the logs up an inclined plane by water- 
power ; on the other, passing out the boards, planks, and 
sawed timber, and forming them into rafts. The trees 
were literally drawn and quartered there. In forming 
the rafts, they use the lower three feet of hard-wood 
saplings, which have a crooked and knobbed but-end, for 
bolts, passing them up through holes bored in the corners 
and sides of the rafts, and keying them. In another 
apartment they were making fence-slats, such as stand 
all over New England, out of odds and ends, — and it 
may be that I saw where the picket-fence behind which 
I dwell at home came from. I was surprised to find a 
boy collecting the long edgings of boards as fast as cut 
off, and thrusting them down a hopper, where they were 
ground up beneath the miU, that they might be out of the 
way ; otherwise they accumulate in vast piles by the side 
of the building, increasing the danger from fire, or, float- 
ing off, they obstruct the river. This was not only a 
saw-mill, but a grist-mill, then. The inhabitants of Old- 
town, Stillwater, and Bangor cannot suffer for want of 
kindling stuff, surely. Some get their living exclusively 
by picking up the drift-wood and selling it by the cord 
in the winter. In one place I saw where an Irishman, 
who keeps a team and a man for the purpose, had cov- 
ered the shore for a long distance with regular piles, and 
I was told that he had sold twelve hundred dollars' worth 
in a year. Another, who lived by the shore, told me 
that he got all the material of his out-buildings and fencea 
from the river ; and in that neigliborhood I perceived 
that ibis refuse wood was frequently un^^\ instead of 


land lo fill hollows with, being apparently cheaper than 

I got my first clear view of Ktaadn, on this excursion, 
from a hill about two miles northwest of Bangor, whither 
I went for this purpose. After this I was ready to re- 
turn to Massachusetts. 

Humboldt has written an interesting chapter on the 
primitive forest, but no one has yet described for me the 
difference between that wild forest which once occupied ^_ 
our oldest townships, and the tame one which I find there 
to-day. It is a difference which \vould be worth attend- 
ing to. The civilized man not only clears the land per- 
manently to a great extent, and cultivates open fields, 
but he tames and cultivates to a certain extent the forest 
itself. By his mere presence, almost, he changes the _bi 
nature of the trees as no other creature does. The sun 
and air, and perhaps fire, have been introduced, and grain 
raised where it stands. It has lost its wild, damp, and 
shaggy look, the countless fallen and decaying trees are 
gone, and consequently that thick coat of moss which 
lived on them is gone too. The earth is comparatively 
bare and smooth and dry. The most primitive places 
left with us are the swamps, where the spruce still grows 
shaggy with usnea. The surface of the ground in the 
Maine woods is everywhere spongy and saturated with 
moisture. I noticed that the plants which cover the for- 
est floor there are such as ai'e commonly confined to 
swamps with us, — the Glintonia borealis, orchises, creep- 
Vig snowberry, and others; and tbi prevailing aster 
there is the Aster acuminatus, which with us grows in 
damp and shady woods. The asters cordifolius and 
wtacophi/lliis also are c<mmon, asters of little or no 


color, and sometimes without petals. I saw no soft, 
spreading, second-growth white-pines, with smooth bark, 
acknowlo.lging the presence of the wood-chopper, but 
even tho young white-pines were all tall and slender 
rough-barked trees. 

Those Maine woods differ essentially from ours. There 
you are never reminded that the wilderness which you 
are threading is, after all, some villager's fomiliar wood- 
lot, some widow's thirds, from which her ancestors have 
sledded fuel for generations, minutely described in some 
old deed which is recorded, of which the owner has got 
a plan too, and old bound-marks may be found every 
forty rods, if you will search. 'T is true, the map may 
inform you that you stand on land granted by the State 
to some academy, or on Bingham's purchase ; but these 
names do not impose on you, for you see nothing to 
remind you of the academy or of Bingham. What 
were the " forests " of England to these ? One writer 
relates of the Isle of AVight, that in Charles the Sec- 
ond's time " there were woods in tlie island so complete 
and extensive, that it is said a squirrel might have trav- 
elled in several parts many leagues together on the 
top of the trees." If it were not for the rivers, (and 
he might go round their heads,) a squirrel could here 
t.avel thus the whole breadth of the country. 

We have as yet had no adequate account of a primi- 
tive pine-forest. I have noticed that in a physical atlas 
lately published in Massachusetts, and used in our schools, 
tlie " wood land " of North America is limited almost 
sokly to the valleys of the Ohio and some of the Great 
Lakes, and the great pine-forests of the globe are not 
represented. In our vicinity, for instance. New Bruns- 
wick and INIaine are exhibited as bare as Greenland 


It may be that the children of Greenville, at the foot 
of Moosehead Lakes who sureiy are not likely to be 
Beared by an owl, are referred to the valley of the Ohio 
to get an idea of a forest ; but they would not know 
what to do with their moose, bear, caribou, beaver, etc., 
there. Shall we leave it to an Englishman to infoim 
us, that " in North America, both in the United States 
and Canada, are the most extensive pine-forests in the 
world " ? The greater part of New Brunswick, tho 
northern half of Maine, and adjacent parts of Canada, 
not to mention the northeastern part of New York and 
other tracts farther off, are still covered with an almosF 
unbroken pine-forest. 

But Maine, perhaps, will soon be where Massachu- 
setts is. A good part of her territory is already as 
bare and commonplace as much of our neighborhood, 
and her villages generally are not so well shaded as 
ours. We seem to think that the earth must go through 
the ordeal of sheep-pasturage before it is habitable by 
man. Consider Naliant, the resort of all the fashion 
of Boston, — which peninsula I saw but indistinctly in 
the twilight, when I steamed by it, and thought that it 
was unchanged since the discovery. John Smith de- 
scribed it in 1614 as "the Mattahunts, two pleasant isles 
of groves, gardens, and cornfields " ; and others tell us 
that it was once well wooded, and even furnished tim- 
ber to build the wharves of Boston. Now it is difficult 
to make a tree grow there, and the visitor comes away 
with a vision of Mr. Tudor's ugly fences, a rod high, 
designed to protect a few pear-shrubs. And what are 
fve coming to in our Middlesex towns ? — a bald, staring 
town-house, oi meeting-house, and a bare liberty-pole, 
af leafless as it is fruitless, for all T can see. We shall 



be ot/liged to import the timber for the last, hereafter, 
or splice such sticks as we have; — and our ideas of 
liberty are equally mean with these. The very willow- 
rows lopped every three years for fuel or powder, — 
and every sizable pine and oak, or other forest tree, 
cut down within the memory of man ! As if individual 
speculators were to be allowed to export the clouds out 
of the sky, or the stars out of the firmament, one by 
one. We shall be reduced to gnaw the very crust of 
the earth for nutriment. 

They have even descended to smaller game. They 
have lately, as I hear, invented a machine for chopping 
up huckleberry-bushes fine, and so converting them into 
fuel! — bushes which, for fruit alone, are worth all the 
pear-trees in the country many times over. (I can give 
you a list of the three best kinds, if you want it.) At 
this rate, we shall all be obliged to let our beards grow 
at least, if only to hide the nakedness of the land and 
make a sylvan appearance. The farmer sometimes talks 
of "brushing up," simply as if bare ground looked 
better than clothed ground, than that which wears its 
natural vesture, — as if the wild hedges, which, perhaps, 
are more to his children than his whole farm beside, 
were dirt. I know of one who deserves to be called 
the Tree-hater, and, perhaps, to leave this for a new 
patronymic to his children. You would think that he 
had been warned by an oracle that he would be killed 
by the fall of a tree, and so was resolved to anticipate 
them. The journalists tliink that they cannot say toe 
much in favor of such " impi'ovements " in husbandry 
It is a safe theme, like piety ; but as for the beauty of 
one of these "model farms," I would as lief see 
patent churn and a man turning it. They are, com- 

CHESUNCOOK. 159, places merely where somebody is making money, 
it may be counterfeiting. The virtue of making two 
blades of grass grow where only one grew before does 
not begin to be superhuman. 

Nevertheless, it was a relief to get back to cur smooth, 
but still varied landscape. For a permanent residence, 
it seemed to me that there could be no comparisoo 
between this and the wilderness, necessary as the latter 
is for a resource and a background, the raw material 
of all our civilization. Tlie wilderness is simple, almost 
to barrenness. The partially cultivated country it is 
which chiefly has inspired, and will continue to inspire, 
the strains of poets, such as compose the mass of any 
literature. Our woods are sylvan, and their inhabitants 
woodmen and rustics, — that is, selvaggia, and the in- 
habitants are salvages. A civilized man, using the word ~ 
in the ordinary sense, with his ideas and associations, 
must at length pine there, like a cultivated plant, which 
clasps its fibres about a crude and undissolved mass of 
peat. At the extreme North, the voyagers are obliged 
to dance and act plays for employment. Perhaps our 
own woods and fields, — in the best wooded towns, 
where we need not quarrel about the huckleberries, — 
with the primitive swamps scattered here and there in 
their midst, but not prevailing over them, are the per- ~ 
fection of parks and groves, gardens, arbors, paths, vistas, 
and landscapes. They are the natural consequence of 
what art and refinement we as a people have, — the 
common which each village possesses, its true paradise, 
in comparison with which all elaborately and wilfully 
wjulth-constructcd parks and gardens are paltry imita- 
tions. Or, I would rather say, such were our grovea^' 
Iwenty years ago Ti>e poet's commonly, is not a log- 


gar's path, but a woodman's. The logger and pioneer 
have preceded hira, like John the Baptist ; eaten the 
wild honey, it may be, but the locusts also; banished 
decaying wood and the spongy mosses which feed on 
it, and built hearths and humanized Nature for him. 

But there are spirits of a yet more liberal culture, 
to whom no simplicity is barren. There are not cnly 
siately pines, but fragile flowers, like the orchises, com- 
monly described as too delicate for cultivation, which 
derive their nutriment from the crudest mass of peat. 
These remind us, that, not only for strength, but for 
beauty, the poet must, from time to time, travel the 
logger's path and the Indian's trail, to drink at some 
new and more bracing fountain of the Muses, far in the 
recesses of the wilderness. 

The kings of England formerly had their forests " to 
hold the king's game," for sport or food, sometimes de- 
stroying villages to create or extend them ; and I think 
that they were impelled by a true instinct. Why should 
not we, who have renounced the king's authority, have 
our national preserves, whei-e no villages need be de- 
stroyed, in which the bear and panther, and some even 
of the hunter race, may still exist, and not be " civilized 
— off the face of the earth," — our forests, not to hold 
the king's game merely, but to hold and preserve the 
king himself also, the lord of creation, — not for idle 
sport or food, but for inspiration and our own true re- 
creation? or shall we, like villains, grub them all ujk 
Doaching on our own national domains ? // 


I STARTED on my third excursion to the Maine woods 
Monday, July 20th, 1857, with one companion, arriving 
at Bangor the next day at noon. We had hardly left 
the steamer, when we passed Molly Molasses in the 
street. As long as she lives the Penobscots may be con- 
sidered extant as a tribe. The succeeding morning, a 
relative of mine, who is well acquainted with the Penob- 
scot Indians, and who had been my companion in my 
two previous excursions into the Maine woods, took me 
in his wagon to Oldtown, to assist me in obtaining an 
Indian for this expedition. We were ferried across to 
the Indian Island in a batteau. The ferryman's boy had 
got the key to it, but the father who was a blacksmith, 
after a little hesitation, cut the chain with a cold-chisel 
on the rock. He told me that the Indians were nearly 
all gone to the seaboard and to Massachusetts, partly en 
account of the small-pox, of which they are very much 
afraid, having broken out in Oldtown, and it was doubt- 
ful whether we should find a suitable one at home. The 
old chief Neptune, however, was there still. The first 
man we saw on the island was an Indian named Joseph 
Polls, whom my relative had known from a boy, and now 
addressed familiarly as "Joe." He was dressing a deer- 
skin in his yard. The skin was 'spread over a slanting 



log, and he was scraping it with a stick, held by both 
hands. He was stoutly built, perhaps a little above the 
middle height, with a broad face, and, as others said, per- 
fect Indian features and complexion. His house was a 
two-story white one with blinds, the best looking that I 
noticed there, and as good as an average one on a New 
England village street. It was surrounded by a gardes 
and fruit-trees, single cornstalks standing thinly amid 
the beans. We asked him if he knew any good Indian 
who would like to go into the woods with us, that is, to 
the AUcgash Lakes, by way of Moosehead, and return by 
the East Branch of the Penobscot, or vary from this as 
we pleased. To which he answered, out of that strange 
remoteness in which the Indian ever dwells to the white 
man, "Me like to go myself; me want to get some 
moose"; and kept on scraping the skin. His brother 
had been into the woods with my relative only a year or 
two before, and the Indian now inquired what the latter 
had done to him, that he did not come back, for he had 
not seen nor heard from him since. 

At length we got round to the more interesting topic 
Again. The ferryman had told us that all the best 
Indians were gone except Polis, who was one of the aris- 
tocracy. He to be sure would be the best man we could 
have, but if he went at all would want a great price ; so 
we did not expect to get him. Polis asked at first two 
dollars a day, but agreed to go for a dollar and a half, 
and fifty cents a week for his canoe. He would come to 
Bangor with his canoe by the seven o'clock train that 
evening, — we might depend on him. We thought our- 
selves lucky to secure the services of this man, who was 
known to be particularly steady and trustworthy. 

I spent the afternoon with my companion, who had 


remained in Bangor, in preparing for our expedition, 
purchasing provisions, hard bread, pork, coffee, sugar, 
&c., and some India-rubber clothing. 

We had at first thought of exploring the St. John from 
its source to its mouth, or else to go up the Penobscot by 
its East Branch to the lakes of the St. John, and return 
by way of Chesuncook and Moosehead. We had finally 
inclined to the last route, only reversing the order of it, 
going by way of Moosehead, and returning by the Penob- 
scot, otherwise it would have been all the way up stream 
and taken twice as long. 

At evening the Indian arrived in the cars, and I led 
the way while he followed me three quarters of a mile to 
my friend's house, with the canoe on his head. I did not 
know the exact route myself, but steered by the lay of 
the land, as I do in Boston, and I tried to enter into con- 
versation with him, but as he was puffing under the 
weight of his canoe, not having the usual apparatus for 
carrying it, but, above all, was an Indian, I might as well 
have been thumping on the bottom of his birch the while. 
In answer to the various observations which I made by 
way of breaking the ice, he only grunted vaguely from 
beneath his canoe once or twice, so that I knew he was 

Early the next morning (July 23d) the stage called 
tor us, the Indian having breakfasted with us, and already 
placed the baggage in the canoe to see how it would go. 
My companion and I had each a large knapsack as full 
OS it would hold, and we had two large India-rubber bags 
which held our provision and utensils. As for the In- 
dian, all the baggage he had, beside his axe and gun, was 
a blanket, which he brought loose in his hana. However, 
he had laid in a store of tobacco anc a new pipe for the 


excursion. The canoe was securely lashed diagrtially 
across the top of the stage, with bits of carpet tucked un- 
der the edge to prevent its chafing. The very accommo- 
dating driver appeared as much accustomed to carrying 
canoes in this way as bandboxes. 

At the Bangor House we took in four men bound on 
a hunting excursion, one of the men going as cook. 
Tliey had a dog, a middling-sized brindled cur, which 
ran by the side of the stage, his master showing his head 
and whistling from time to time ; but after we had gone 
about three miles the dog was suddenly missing, and two 
of the party went back for him, while the stage, which 
was full of passengers, waited. I suggested that he had 
taken the back track for the Bangor House. At length 
one man came back, while the other kept on. This 
whole party of hunters declared their intention to stop 
till the dog was found ; but the very obliging driver was 
ready to wait a spell longer. He was evidently unwill- 
ing to lose so many passengers, who would have taken 
a private conveyance, or perhaps the other line of stages, 
the next day. Such progress did we make with a jour- 
ney of over sixty miles, to be accomplished that day, and 
a rain-storm just setting in. We discussed the subject of 
dogs and their instincts till it was threadbare, while we 
waited there, and the scenery of the suburbs of Bangor 
is still distinctly impressed on my memory. After full 
half an hour the man returned, leading the dog by a 
rope He had overtaken him just as he was entering 
the Bangor House. He was then tied on the top of the 
stage, but being wet and cold, several times in the course 
of Uie journey he jumped off, and I saw him dangling 
Dy his neck. This dog was depended on to stop bears 
^ith Ho had already stopped one somewhere in New 


Hampshire, and I can testify that he stopped a stage ii 
Maine. This party of four probably paid nothing for 
the dog's ride, nor for his run, while our party of thre« 
paid two dollars, and were charged four for the light 
canoe which lay still on the top. 

It soon began to rain, and grew more and more stormy 
as the day advanced. This was the third time that I had 
passed over this route, and it rained steadily each time 
all day. We accordingly saw but little of the country. 
The stage was crowded all the way, and I attended the 
more to my fellow-travellers. If you had looked inside 
this coach you would have thought that we were prepared 
to run the gauntlet of a band of robbers, for there were 
four or five guns on the front seat, the Indian's included, 
and one or two on the back one, each man holding his 
darling in his arms. One had a gun which carried twelve 
to a pound. It appeared that this party of hunters was 
going our way, but much farther down tlie Allegash and 
St. John, and thence up some other stream, and across 
to the Pistigouche and the Bay of Chaleur, to be gone 
six weeks. Tiiey had canoes, axes, and supplies depos- 
ited some distance along the route. They carried flour, 
and were to have new bread made every day. Their 
leader was a handsome man about thirty years old, of 
good height, but not apparently robust, of gentlemanly 
address and faultless toilet; such a one as you might 
expert to meet on Broadway. In fact, in the popular 
aense of the word, he was the most " gentlemanly " ap- 
•^learing man in the stage, or that we saw on the road. 
He had a fair white complexion, as if he had always 
lived in the shade, and an intellectual face, and with hia 
quiet manners might have passed for a divinity student 
who had seen sometliing of the world. I was surprised 


to find, on talking with him tii thj course of the day'a 
journey, that he was a hunter at all, — for his gun was 
not much exposed, — and yet more to find that he waf 
probably the chief white hunter of Maine, and was 
known all along the road. He had also hunted in .some 
of the States farther south and west. I afterwards 
heard him spoken of as one who could endure a great 
deal of exposure and fatigue without showing the effect 
of it ; and he could not only use guns, but make them, 
being himself a gunsmith. In the spring, he had saved 
a stage-driver and two passengers from drowning in the 
backwater of the Piscataquis in Foxcroft on this road, 
having swum ashore in the freezing water and made a 
raft and got them off, — though the horses were drowned, 
— at great risk to himself, while the only other man who 
could swim withdrew to the nearest house to prevent 
freezing. He could now ride over this road for nothing 
He knew our man, and remarked that we had a good In- 
dian there, a good hunter ; adding that he was said to be 
worth $ 6,000. The Indian also knew him, and said to 
me, " the great hunter." 

The former told me that lie practised a kind of still 
hunting, new or uncommon in those parts, that the cari- 
bou, for instance, fed round and round the same meadow, 
returning on the same path, and he lay in wait for them. 

The Indian sat on the front seat, saying nothing to 
anybody, with a stolid expression of face, as if barely 
•iwake to v;hat was going on. Again I was struck by 
the peculiar vagueness of his replies when addressed iu 
the stage, or at the taverns. He really never said any- 
thing on such occasions. He was merely stirred up, like 
a wild beast, and passively muttered some insignificant 
response. His answer, in such cases, was never the con« 


gequence of a positive mental energy, but vague as a 
puff of smoke, suggesting no responsibility, and if you 
considered it, you would find that you had got notliing 
out of him. This was instead of the conventional palaver 
and smartness of the white man, and equally profitable^. 
Most get no more than this out of the Indian, and pro- 
nounce liim stolid accordingly. I was surprised to see 
wliat a foolish and impertinent style a Maine man, a 
passenger, used in addressing him, as if he were a 
child, which only made his eyes glisten a little. A tipsy 
Canadian asked him at a tavern, in a drawling tone, if 
he smoked, to which he answered with an indefinite 
"yes." " Won't you lend me your pipe a little Avhile ?" 
asked the other. He replied, looking straight by the 
man's head, with a face singularly vacant to all neighbor- 
ing interests, " Me got no pipe " ; yet I had seen him put 
a new one, with a supply of tobacco, into his pocket that 

Our little canoe, so neat and strong, drew a favora- 
ble criticism from all the wiseacres among the tavern 
loungers along the road. By the roadside, close to the 
wheels, I noticed a splendid great purple-fringed orchis 
with a spike as big as an epilobium, which I would fain 
nave stopped the stage to pluck, but as this had never 
been known to stop a bear, like the cur on the stage, the 
driver would probably have thought it a waste of time. 

When we reached the lake, about half past eight in 
Vhe evening, it was still steadily raining, and harder than 
before ; and, in that fi-esh, cool atmosphere, the hylodea 
were peeping and the toads singing about the lake uni- 
versally, as in the spring with us. It was as if the sea- 
son hai revolved backward two or three months, or I 
had anived at the abode of perpetua. «pring. 


"We had expected to go upon the lake at once, and 
after paddling up two or three miles, to camp on one of 
its islands ; but on account of the steady and increasing 
rain, we decided to go to one of the taverns for the night, 
though, for my own part, I should have preferred to 
camp out. 

About four o'clock the next morning, (July 24th,) 
though it was quite cloudy, accompanied by the landlord 
to the water's edge, in the twilight, we launched our canoe 
from a rock on the Moosehead Lake. When I was 
there four years before we had a rather small canoe for 
three persons, and I had thought that this time I would 
get a larger one, but the present one was even smaller 
than that. It was 18^ feet long by 2 feet 6i inches 
wide in the middle, and one foot deep within, as I found 
by measurement, and I judged that it would weigh not 
far from eighty pounds. The Indian had recently made 
it himself, and its smallness was partly compensated for 
by its newness, as well as stanchness and solidity, it 
being made of very thick bark and ribs. Our baggage 
weighed about 166 pounds, so that the canoe carried 
about 600 pounds in all, or the weight of four men. The 
principal part of the baggage was, as usual, placed in the 
middle of the broadest part, while we stowed ourselves 
m the chinks and crannies that were left before and 
behind it, where there was no room to extend our logs, 
tlie loose articles being tucked into the ends. The canoe 
was thus as closely packed as a market-basket, and m'ght 
possibly have been upset without spilling any of its eon- 
tents. The Indian sat on a cross-bar in the stern, but we 
flat on the bottom, with a splint or chip behind our backs, 
to protect them from the cross-bar, and one of us commonly 
paddled with the Indian. lie foresaw that we should 


not want a pole till \m reached the Umbazookskus River, 
it being either dead water or down stream so far, and he 
was prepared to make a sail of his blanket in the bows, 
if the wind should be fair ; but we never used it. 

It had rained more or less the four previous days, so 
that we thought we might count on some fair weather. 
The wind was at first southwesterly. 

Paddling along the eastern side of the lake in the still 
of the morning, we soon saw a few sheldrakes, which 
the Indian called Shecorways, and some peetweets Nar- 
amekechus, on the rocky shore ; we also saw and heard 
loons, medawisla, which he said was a sign of wind. It 
was inspiriting to hear the regular dip of the paddles, 
as if they were our fins or flippers, and to realize that 
we were at length fairly embarked. "We who had felt 
strangely as stage-passengers and tavern-lodgers wero 
suddenly naturalized there and presented with the free- 
dom of the lakes and the woods. Having passed the 
small rocky isles within two or three miles of the foot 
of the lake, we had a short consultation respecting our 
course, and inclined to the western shore for the sake of 
its lee ; for otherwise, if the wind should rise, it would be 
impossible for us to reach Mount Kineo, which is about 
midway up the lake on the east side, but at its narrowest 
part, where probably we could recross if we took the 
western side. The wind is the chief obstacle to crossing 
the lakes, especially in so small a canoe. The Indian 
remarked several times that he did not like to cross the 
lakes " in littlura canoe," but nevertheless, "just as Ave 
say, it made no odds to him." He sometimes took a 
straight course up the middle of the lake between Sugar 
ftnd Deer Islands, when there was no wind. 

Measured on the map, Moosehead Lake is twelve 


miles wide at the widest place, an(| thirty miles long in 
a direct line, but longer as it lies. The captain of the 
Bteamei called it thirty-eight miles as he steered. We 
should probably go about forty. The Indian said that 
it was called " Mspame, because large water." Squaw 
Mountain rose darkly on our left, near the outlet of the 
Kennebec, and what the Indian called Spencer Bay Moun- 
tain, on the east, and already we saw Mount Kineo before 
lis in the north. 

Paddling near the shore, we frequently heard the 
pe-pe of the olive-sided fly-catcher, also the wood-pewee, 
and the kingfisher, thus early in the morning. The 
Indian reminding us that he could not work without 
eating, we stopped to breakfast on the main shore, south- 
west of Deer Island, at a spot where the Mimulus 
ringens grew abundantly. We took out our bags, and 
the Indian made a fire under a very large bleached log, 
using white-pine bark from a stump, though he said that 
hemlock was better, and kindling with canoe-birch bark. 
Our table was a large piece of freshly peeled birch-bark, 
laid wrong-side-up, and our breakfast consisted of hard 
bread, fried pork, and strong coffee, well sweetened, in 
which we did not miss the milk. 

While we were getting breakfast a brood of twelve 
black dippers, half gi'own, came paddling by within three 
or four rods, not at all alarmed ; and they loitered about 
BS long as we stayed, now huddled close together, within 
a cii'cle of eighteen inches in diameter, now moving off 
in a long line, very cunningly. Yet they bore a certain 
proportion to the great Moosehead Lake on whose bosom 
they floated, and I felt as if they were under its protection. 

Looking northward from this place it appeared as il 
we were entering a large bay, and we did not know 


whether we should be obliged to diverge frotn our coiirso 
and keep outside a point which we saw, or should find a 
passage between this and the mainland. I consulted ray 
map and used my glass, and the Indian did the same, 
but we could not find our place exactly on the map, nor 
could we detect any break in the shore. "When I a-sked 
the Indian the way, he answered " I don't know," whicii 
I thought remarkable, since he had said that he was fa- 
miliar with the lake ; but it appeared that he had ne^er 
been up this side. It was misty dog-day weather, and we 
had already penetrated a smaller bay of the same kind, 
and knocked the bottom out of it, though we had been 
obliged to pass over a small bar, between an island and 
the shore, where there was but just breadth and depth 
enough to float the canoe, and the Indian had observed, 
"Very easy makum bridge here," but now it seemed 
that, if we held on, we should be fairly embayed. Pres- 
ently, however, though we had not stirred, the mist lifted 
somewhat, and revealed a break in the shore northward, 
showing that the point was a portion of Deer Island, 
and that our course lay westward of it. Where it had 
seemed a continuous shore even through a glass, one 
portion was now seen by the naked eye to be much more 
distant than the other which overlapped it, merely by 
the greater thickness of the mist which still rested on it, 
while the nearer or island portion was comparatively 
bare and green. The line of separation was very dis- 
tinct, and the Indian immediately remarked, " I guess 
^ou and I go there, — I guess there 's room for my canoe 
rhere." This was his common expression instead of say- 
ing we. He never addressed us by our names, though 
curious to know how they were spelled and what they 
meant, while we called him Polis. IJ-j had already 


guessed very accurately at our ages, and said that he 
was forty-eight. 

After breakfast I emptied the melted pork that was 
left into the lake, making what sailors call a " slick," and 
watching to see how much it spread over and smoothed 
the agitated surface. The Indian looked at it a moment 
and said, " That make hard paddlum thro' ; hold 'em ca- 
noe. So say old times." 

"We hastily reloaded, putting the dishes loose in the 
bows, that they might be at hand when wanted, and set 
out again. The western shore, near which we paddled 
along, rose gently to a considerable height, and was ev- 
erywhere densely covered with the forest, in which was 
a large proportion of hard wood to enliven and relieve 
the fir and spruce. 

The Indian said that the usnea lichen which we saw 
hanging from the trees was called chorchorque. We 
asked him the names of several small birds which we 
heard this morning. The wood-thrush, which was quite 
common, and whose note he imitated, he said was called 
Adelungquamooktum ; but sometimes he could not tell 
the name of some small bird which I heard and knew, 
but he said, "I tell all the birds about here, — this coun- 
try ; can't tell littlum noise, but I see 'em, then I can tell." 

I observed that I should like to go to school to him to 
learn his language, living on the Indian island the 
while ; could not that be done ? "0, yer," he replied, 
* good many do so." I asked how long he thought it 
would take. He said one week. I told him that in this 
voyage I would tell him all I knew, and he should teU 
me all he knew, to which he readily agreed. 

The birds sang quite as in our woods, — the red-eye 
red -start, veery, wood-pewee, etc.. but we saw no blue 


birds in all our journey, und several told me in Bangor 
that they had not the bluebird there. Mt. Kineo, which 
was generally visible, though occasionally concealed by 
islands or the mainland in front, had a level bar of cloud 
concealing its summit, and all the mountain-tops about 
the lake were cut off at the same height. Ducks of va- 
rious kinds — sheldrake, summer ducks, etc. — were quite 
common, and ran over the water before us as fast as a 
horse trots. Thus they were soon out of sight. 

The Indian asked the meaning of realility, as near 
as I could make out the word, which he said one of us 
had used; also of "interrent," that is intelligent. I ob- 
served that he could rarely sound the letter r, but used 
1. as also r for 1 sometimes ; as load for road, pickelel 
for pickerel, Soogle Island for Sugar Island, loch for 
rock, etc. Yet he trilled the r pretty well after me. 

He generally added the syllable um to his words when 
he could, — as padlum, etc. I have once heard a Chippe- 
wa lecture, who made his audience laugh unintentionally 
by putting ne after the word too, which word he brought 
in continually and unnecessarily, accenting and prolong- 
ing this sound into m ar sonorously as if it were neces- 
sary to bring in so much of his vernacular as a relief to 
his organs, a compensation for twisting his jaws about, 
and putting his tongue into every corner of his niouth, 
as he complained that he was obliged to do when he 
spoke English. There was so much of the Indian ao* 
cent resounding through his English, so much of the 
" bow-arrow tang " as my neighbor calls it, and I have 
oo doubt that word seemid to him the best pronounced. 
ft was a wild and refreshing sound, like that of the 
wind among the pines, or the booming of the surf on the 


I asked liim the meaning of the word Musheticook, the 
Indian name of Concord River. He pronounced it Mu»- 
leeticook, emphasizing the second syllable with a peculiar 
guttural sound, and said that it meant "Dead-water," 
which it is, and in this definition he agreed exactly with 
the St. Francis Indian with whom I talked in 1853. 

On a point on the mainland some miles southwest of 
Sand-bar Island, where we landed to stretch our legs and 
look at the vegetation, going inland a few steps, I discov- 
ered a fire still glowing beneath its ashes, where some- 
body had breakfasted, and a bed of twigs prepared for 
the following night. So I knew not only that they had 
just left, but that they designed to return, and by the 
breadth of the bed that there was more than one in the 
party. You might have gone within six feet of these 
signs without seeing them. There grew the beaked ha- 
zel, the only hazel whicli I saw on this journey, the IH- 
ervilla, rue seven feet high, which was very abundant on 
all the lake and river shores, and Cornus stoloiiifera, or 
red osier, whose bark, the Indian said, was good to smoke, 
and was called maquoxigill, " tobacco before white people 
came to this country, Indian tobacco." 

The Indian was always very careful in approaching 
the shore, lest he should injure his canoe on the rocks, 
letting it swing round slowly sidevvise, and was still 
more particular that we should not step into it on shore, 
nor till it floated free, and then should step gently lest 
we should open its seams, or make a hole in the bottom. 
Ue said that he would tell us when to jump. 

Soon after leaving this point we passed the mouth 
»f tlio Kennebec, and heard and saw the falls at the 
dam there, for even Moosd^iead Lake is dammed. Af- 
ter passing Deer Island, wf. oaw the little steamer from 


Greenville, far east In the middle of the lake, she ap- 
^leared nearly stationary. Sometimes we could hardly 
tell her from an island which had a few trees on it. 
Here we were exposed to the wind from over the 
whole breadth of the lake, and ran a little risk of being 
swamped. While I had my eye fixed on the spot where 
n large fish had leaped, we took in a gallon or two of 
water, which filled my lap; but we soon reached the 
shore and took the canoe over the bar, at Sand-bar 
Island, a few feet wide only, and so saved a considerable 
distance. One landed first at a more sheltered place, 
and walking round caught the canoe by the prow, to 
prevent it being injured against the shore. 

Again we crossed a broad bay opposite the mouth 
of Moose River, before reaching the narrow strait at 
Mount Kineo, made what the voyageurs call a traverse, 
and found the water quite rough. A very little wind 
on these broad lakes raises a sea which will swamp a 
canoe. Looking off from a lee shore, the surface may 
appear to be very little agitated, almost smooth, a mile 
distant, or if you see a few white crests they appear 
nearly level with the rest of the lake ; but when you 
get out so far, you may find quite a sea running, and 
erelong, before you think of it, a wave will gently 
creep up the side ot the canoe and fill your lap, like a 
monster deliberately covering you with its slime before 
it swallows you, or it will strike the canoe violently and 
break into it. The same thing may happen when the 
wind rises suddenly, though it were perfectly calm and 
smooth there a few minutej before ; so that nothing 
can save you, unless you can swim ashore, for it is 
impof-sible to get into a canoe again when it is upset 
6inc() you sit flat on the bottom, though the dangei 


should not be imminent, a little water is a great inooo- 
venience, not to mention the wetting of your provisions^ 
Wo rarely crossed even a bay directly, from point t« 
point, when there was wind, but made a slight curve 
corresponding somewhat to the shore, that we might 
the sooner reach it if the wind increased. 

When the wind is aft, and not too strong, the Indian 
makes a spritsail of his blanket. He thus easily skima 
over the whole length of this lake in a day. 

The Indian paddled on one side, and one of us on 
the other, to keep the canoe steady, and when he wanted 
to change hands he would say " t' other side." He as- 
serted, in answer to our questions, that he had never 
upset a canoe himself, though he may have been upset 
by others. 

Think of our little egg-shell of a canoe tossing across 
that great lake, a mere black speck to the eagle soaring 
above it. 

My companion trailed for trout as we paddled along, 
but the Indian warning him that a big fish might upset 
us, for there are some very large ones there, he agreed 
to pass the line quickly to him in the stern if he had 
a bite. Beside trout, I heard of cusk, white-fish, «Scc., 
as found in this lake. 

While we were crossing this bay, where Mount Kineo 
rose dark before us, within two or three miles, the Indian 
repeated the tradition respecting this mountain's having 
anciently been a cow moose, — how a mighty Indian 
hunter, whose name I forget, succeeding in killing this 
queen of the moose tribe with great difficulty, while 
her calf was killed somewhere among the islands in 
Penobscot Bay, and, to his eyes, this mountain had 
ftiU the form of the moose in a reclining posture, iti 


precipitous side presenting the outline of her head. 
He told this at some length, though it did not amount 
to much, and with apparent good faith, and asked us 
how we supposed the hunter could have killed such a 
mighty moose as tliat, — how we could do it. "Where- 
upon a man-of-war to fire broadsides into her was 
suggested, etc. An Indian tells such a story as if he 
thought it deserved to have a good deal said about it. 
only he has not got it to say, and so he makes up fot 
the deficiency by a drawling tone, long-windedness, and 
a dumb wonder which he hopes will be contagious. 

We approached the land again through pretty rough 
water, and then steered directly across the lake, at its 
narrowest part, to the eastern side, and were soon partly 
under the lee of the mountain, about a mile north of 
the Kineo House, having paddled about twenty miles. 
It was now about noon. 

"We designed to stop there that afternoon and night, 
and spent half an hour looking along the shore north- 
ward for a suitable place to camp. We took out all our 
baggage at one place in vain, it being too rocky and 
uneven, and while engaged in this search we made our 
first acquaintance with the moose-fly. At length, half a 
mile farther north, by going half a dozen rods into the 
dense spruce and fir wood on the side of the mountain 
almost as dark as a cellar, we found a place sufficiently 
5lear and level to lie down on, after cutting away a few 
bushes. We required a space only seven feet by six for 
our bed, the fire being four or five feet in front, though 
It made no odds how rough *he hearth was ; but it was 
not always easy to find this in thos<r woods. The Indian 
first cleared a path to it from the shore with his axe, and 
tve iheu earned up all our baggage, pitched our tent, and 

8* I. 


made our bed, in order to be ready for foul weather, 
which then threatened us, and for the night. He gath- 
ered a large armful of fir twigs, breaking them off, which 
he said were the best for our bed, partly, I thought, 
because they were the largest and could be most rapidly 
collected. It had been raining more or less for four or 
five days, and the wood was even damper than usual, but 
he got dry bark for the fire from the under-side of a dead 
leaning hemlock, which, he said, he could always do. 

This noon his mind was occupied with a law question, 
and I referred him to my companion, who was a lawyer. 
It appeared that he had been buying land lately, (I think 
it was a hundred acres,) but there was probably an 
incumbrance to it, somebody else claiming to have bought 
?ome grass on it for this year. He wished to know to 
whom the grass belonged, and was told that if the other 
man could prove that he bought the grass before he, 
Polis, bought the land, the former could take it, whether 
the latter knew it or not. To which he only answered, 
" Strange ! " He went over this several times, fairly sat 
down to it, with his back to a tree, as if he meant to con- 
fine us to this topic henceforth ; but as he made no head- 
way, only reached the jumping-off place of his wonder 
at white men's institutions after each explanation, we let 
die subject die. 

He said that he had fifty acres of grass, potatoes, Ac, 
somewhere above Oldtown, beside some about his house ; 
that he hired a good deal of his work, hoeing, «&c., and 
preferred white men to Indians, because "they keep 
steady, and know how," 

After dinner we returned southward along the shore, 
in the canoe, on account of the difficulty of climbing over 
(he rocks and fallen trees, and began to ascend the moun* 


tain along the edge of the pre( ipice. But a smart shower 
coming up just then, the Indian crept under his canoe, 
while we, being protected by our rubber coats, proceeded 
to botaniip:. So we sent him back to the camp for shelter, 
agreeing that he should come there for us with his canoe 
toward night. It had rained a little in the forenoon, and 
we trust '^d that this would be the clearing-up shower, 
which it proved ; but our feet and legs were thoroughly 
wet by the bushes. The clouds breaking away a little, 
we had a glorious wild view, as we ascended, of the 
broad lake with its fluctuating surface and numerous 
forest-clad islands, extending beyond our sight both north 
and south, and the boundless forest undulating away from 
its shores on every side, as densely packed as a rye-field, 
and enveloping nameless mountains in succession ; but 
above all, looking westward over a large island was 
visible a very distant part of the lake, though we did not 
then suspect it to be Moosehead, — at first a mere broken 
white line seen through the tops of the island trees, like 
hay-caps, but spreading to a lake when we got higher. 
Beyond this we saw what appears to be called Bald 
Mountain on the map, some twenty-five miles distant, 
near the sources of the Penobscot. It was a perfect lake 
of the woods. But this was only a transient gleam, for 
the rain was not quite over. 

Looking southward, the heavens were completely over- 
cast, the mountains capped with clouds, and the lake 
generally wore a dark and stormy appearance, but from 
its surface just north of Sugar Island, sir or eight miles 
distant, there was reflected upward to us through the 
misty air a bright blue tinge from the distant unseen sky 
of another latitude beyond They probably had a cleat 
^ky chen at Greenville, the south end of the lake. Stand- 


ing on a mountain in the midst of a lake, where would 
you look for the first sign of approaching fair weather? 
Not into the heavens, it seems, but into the lake. 

Again we mistook a little rocky islet seen through the 
"drisk," with some taller bare trunks or stumps on it, 
for the steamer with its smoke-pipes, but as it had not 
changed its position after half an hour, we were unde 
ceived. So much do the works of man resemble the 
works of nature. A moose might mistake a steamer for 
a floating isle, and not be scared till he heard its puffing 
or its whistle. 

If I wished to see a mountain or other scenery under 
the most favorable auspices, I would go to it in foul 
weather, so as to be there when it cleared up ; we are 
then in the most suitable mood, and nature is most fresh 
and inspiring. There is no serenity so fair as that which 
is just established in a tearful eye. 

f Jackson, in his Report on the Geology of Maine, 
in 1838, says of this mountain: "Hornstone, which will 
answer for flints, occurs in various parts of the State, 
where trap-rocks have acted upon silicious slate. The 
largest mass of this stone known in the world is Mount 
Kineo, upon Moosehead Lake, which appears to be en- 
tirely composed of it, and rises seven hundred feet above 
the lake level. This variety of hornstone I have seen 
in every part of New England in the form of Indian ar- 
row-heads, hatchets, chisels, etc., which were probably 
obtained from this mountain by the aboriginal inhabitants 
of the country." I have myself found hundreds of ar- 
row-heads made of the same material. It is generally 
Blate-colored, with white specks, becoming a uniform 
white where exposed to the light and air, and it breaks 
with a conchoidal fracture, producing a ragged cutting 


edge. I noticed some conchoidal hollows more than a 
foot in diameter. I picked up a small thin piece which 
had so sharp an edge that I used it as a dull knife, and 
to see what I could do, fairly cut off an aspen one inch 
thick with it, by bending it and making many cuts ; 
though I cut my fingers badly with the back of it in Iho 

From the summit of the precipice which forms the 
fiouthern and eastern sides of this mountain peninsula, 
and is its most remarkable feature, being described as five 
or six hundred feet high, we looked, and probably might 
have jumped down to the water, or to the seemingly 
dwarfish trees on the narrow neck of land which connects 
it with the main. It is a dangerous place to try the 
steadiness of your nerves. Hodge says that these cliffs 
descend " perpendicularly ninety feet " below the surface 
of the water. 

The plants which chiefly attracted our attention on this 
mountain were the mountain cinquefoil {Potentilla iri- 
dentata), abundant and in bloom still at the very base, by 
the water-side, though it is usually confined to the sum 
mits of mountains in our latitude; very beautiful hare 
bells overhanging the precipice; bear-berry; the Can- 
ada blueberry (Vaccinium Canadense), similar to (the V 
Pennsylvanicum) our earliest one, but entire leaved ant* 
with a downy stem and leaf; I have not seen it in Mas- 
sachusetts ; Diervilla trifida; Microstylis ophioglossoidts, 
an orchidaceous plant new to us ; wild holly {Nemopan- 
thes Canadensis) ; the great round-leaved orchis (^Platan- 
thera orbiculata), not long in bloom ; Spiranthcs cernua, 
at the top ; bimch-berry, reddening as we ascended, 
green at the base of the mountain, red at the top ; and 
the small fern, Woodsia ilvensis, growing in tufts, now in 


fruit. I have also received Liparis liliifolia, or tway- 
blade, from this spot. Having explored the wonders of 
the mountain, and the weather being now entirely cleared 
up, we commenced the descent. We met the Indian, 
puffing and panting, about one third of the way up, b it 
thinking that he must be near the top, and saying that it 
took his breath away. I thought that superstition had 
something to do with his fatigue. Perhaps he believed 
that he was climbing over the back of a tremendous 
moose. He said that he had never ascended Kineo. 
On reaching the canoe we found that he had caught a 
lake trout weighing about three pounds, at the depth of 
twenty-five or thirty feet, while we were on the moun- 

When we got to the camp, the canoe was taken out 
and turned over, and a log laid across it to prevent its 
being blown away. The Indian cut some lai'ge logs of 
damp and rotten hard wood to smoulder and keep fire 
through the night. The trout was fried for supper. Our 
tent was of thin cotton cloth and quite small, forming 
with the ground a triangular prism closed at the rear end, 
six feet long, seven wide, and four high, so that we could 
barely sit up in the middle. It required two forked 
stakes, a smooth ridge-pole, and a dozen or more pins to 
pitch it. It kept off dew and wind, and an ordinary 
rain, and answered our purpose well enough. We re- 
clined within it till bedtime, each with his baggage at 
his head, or else sat about the fire, having hung our wet 
clothes on a pole before the fire for the night. 

As we sat there, just before night, looking out through 
the dusky wood, the Indian heard a noise which he said 
was made by a snake. He imitated it at my request 
making a low whistling note, — pheet — phcci, — two of 


Jhree times repeated, somewhat like the peep of the hy- 
Imle-s but not so loud. In answer to my inquiries, he said 
that he had never seen them while making it, but go- 
ing to the spot he finds the snake. This, he said on 
another occasion, was a sign of rain. When I had se- 
lected this place for our camp, he had remarked that 
there were snakes there, — he saw them. But they won't 
do any hurt, I said. " O no," he answered, "just as you 
Bay, it makes no difference to me." 

He lay on the right side of the tent, because, as he 
said, he was partly deaf in one ear, and he wanted to 
lie with his good ear up. As we lay there, he inquired 
if I ever heard " Indian sing." I replied that I had not 
often, and asked him if he would not favor us with a 
song. He readily assented, and lying on his back, with 
his blanket wrapped around him, he commenced a slow, 
somewhat nasal, yet musical chant, in his own language, 
which probably was taught his tribe long ago by the 
Catholic missionaries. He translated it to us, sentence by 
sentence, afterward, wishing to see if we could remember 
it. It proved to be a very simple religious exercise or 
hymn, the burden of which was, that there was only 
one God who ruled all the world. This was hammered 
(or sung) out very thin, so that some stanzas wellnigh 
meant nothing at all, merely keeping up the idea. He 
then said that he would sing us a Latin song ; but we did 
not detect any Latin, only one or two Greek words in it, 
— the rest may have been Latin with the Indian pronun- 

His singing carried m" back to the period of the dis- 
covery of America, to San Salvador and the Incas, when 
Europeans first encountered the simple faith of the In- 
dian. There was, indeed, a beautiful simplicity about it ; 


nothing of the dark and savage, only the mild and in- 
fantile. The sentiments of humility and reverence 
chiefly were expressed. 

It was a dense and damp spruce and fir wood in which 
we lay, and, except for our fire, perfectly dark ; and when 
I awoke in the night, I either heard an owl from deeper 
in the forest behind us, or a loon from a distance over 
the lake. Getting up some time after midnight to col- 
lect the scattered brands together, while ray companions 
were sound asleep, I observed, partly in the fire, which had 
ceased to blaze, a perfectly regular elliptical ring of light, 
about five inches in its shortest diameter, six or seven in 
its longer, and from one eighth to one quarter of an inch 
wide. It was fully as bright as the fire, but not reddish 
or scarlet like a coal, but a white and slumbering light, 
like the glowworm's. I could tell it from the fire only 
by its whiteness. I saw at once that it must be phospho- 
' rescent wood, which I had so often heard of, but never 
chanced to see. Putting my finger on it, with a little hes- 
itation, I found that it was a piece of dead moose-wood 
(^Acer striatum) which the Indian had cut off in a slanting 
direction the evening before. Using my knife, I discov- 
ered that the light proceeded from that portion of the 
sap-wood immediately under the bark, and thus presented 
a regular ring at the end, which, indeed, appeared raitied 
above the level of the wood, and when I pared off" the 
bark and cut into the sap, it was all aglow along the log. 
I was surprised to find the wood quite hard and appar- 
ently sound, though probably decay had commenced in 
the sap, and I cut out some little triangular chips, and 
placing them in the hollow of my hand, carried them 
mto the camp, waked my companion, and showed them 
to him. They lit up the inside of my hand, revealing 


Uie lines and wrinkles, and appearing exactly like coals 
of fire raised to a white heat, and I saw at once how, 
probably, the Indian jugglers had impceed on their peo- 
ple and on travellers, pretending to hold coals of fire in 
their mouths. 

I also noticed that part of a decayed stump witliin four 
01" five feet of the tire, an inch wide and six inches long, 
80it and shaking wood, shone with equal brightness. 

I neglected to ascertain whether our fire had anything 
to do with this, but the previous day's rain and long-con- 
tinued wet weather undoubtedly had. 

I was exceedingly interested by this phenomenon, and 
already felt paid for my journey. It could hardly have 
thrilled me more if it had taken the form of letters, or 
of the human face. If I had met with this ring of hght 
while groping in this forest alone, away from any fire, I 
should have been still more surprised. I little thought 
that there was such a light shining in the darkness of the 
wilderness for me. 

The next day the Indian told me their name for 
this light, — Artoosoqu\ — and on my inquiring concern- 
ing the will-o'-the-wisp, and the like phenomena, he said 
that his " folks " sometimes saw fires passing along at va- 
rious heights, even as high as the trees, and making a 
noise. I was prepared after this to hear of the most 
startling and unimagined phenomena witnessed by " his 
folks," they are abroad at all hours and seasons in scenes 
so unfrequented by white men. Nature must have made 
a thousand revelations to them which are still secrets 
to us. 

I did not regret my not having seen this before, since 
[ now saw it under circumstances so favorable. I was in 
just the frame of mind to see something wonderful, and 


this was a phenomenon adequate to my circumstanoea 
and expectation, and it put me on the alert to see more 
like it I exulted like " a pagan suckled in a creed " that 
had never been worn at all, but was bran new, and ade- 
quate to the occasion. I let science slide, and rejoiced 
in that light as if it had been a fellow-creature. I saw 
that it was excellent, and was very glad to know that it 
was so cheap. A scientific explanation, as it is called, 
would have been altogether out of place there. That is 
for pale daylight. Science with its retorts would have 
put me to sleep ; it was the opportunity to be ignorant 
that I improved. It suggested to me that there was 
something to be seen if one had eyes. It made a be- 
liever of me more than before. I believed that the 
woods were not tenantless, but choke-full of honest spir- 
its as good as myself any day, — not an empty chamber, 
jji which chemistry was left to work alone, but an inhab- 
ited house, — and for a few moments I enjoyed fellowship 
with them. Your so-called wise man goes trying to per- 
suade himself that there is no entity there but himselt 
and his traps, but it is a great deal easier to believe the 
truth. It suggested, too, that the same experience al- 
ways gives birth to the same sort of belief or religion. 
One revelation has been made to the Indian, another to 
the white man. I have much to learn of the Indian, 
nothing of the missionary. I am not sure but all that 
would tempt me to teach the Indian my religion would 
bo his promise to teach me his. Long enough I had 
heard of irrelevant things ; now at length I was glad to 
make acquaintance with the light that dwells in rotten 
wood. "Where is all your knowledge gone to/ It evap- 
♦rates completely, for it has no depth. 

I kept those little chips and wet them again the next 
nif^ht, but they emitted no light. 


Saturday, July 16. 

At breakfast this Saturday morning, the Indian, evi- 
dently curious to know what would be expected of him 
the next day, whether we should go along or not, asked 
me how I spent the Sunday when at home. I told him 
that I commonly sat in my chamber reading, etc., in the 
forenoon, and went to walk in the afternoon. At which 
he shook his head and said, " Er, that is ver bad." " How 
do you spend it ? " I asked. He said that he did no 
work, that he went to church at Oldtown when he was at 
home ; in short, he did as he had been taught by the 
whites. This led to a discussion in which I found my- 
self in the minority. He stated that he was a Protestant, 
and asked me if I was. I did not at first know what to 
say, but I thought that I could answer with truth that I 

When we were washing the dishes in the lake, many 
fishes, apparently chivin, came close up to us to get the 
particles of grease. 

The weather seemed to be more settled this morning, 
and we set out early in order to finish our voyage up the 
lake before the wind arose. Soon after starting the In- 
ilian directed our attention to the Northeast Carry, which 
we could plainly see, about thirteen miles distant in that 
direction as measured on the map, though it is called 
much farther. This carry is a rude wooden railroad, 
running north and south about two miles, pc rfectly 
straight, from the lake to the Penobscot, through a low 
tract, with a clearing three or four rods wide ; but low as 
it is, it passes over tiie height of land there. This open- 
ing appeared as a clear bright, or light point in the hori- 
zon, resting on the edge of the laka, whose breadth a hair 
could have covered at a considerable distance from the 


eye, and of no appreciable height. We should not have 
suspected it to be visible if the Indian had not drawn our 
attention to it. It was a remarkable kind of light to 
steer for, — daylight seen through a vista in the forest, 
— but visible as far as an ordinary beacon by night. 

We crossed a deep and wide bay which makes east- 
ward north of Kineo, leaving an island on our left, and 
keeping up the eastern side of the lake. This way or 
that led to some Torahegan or Socatarian stream, up 
which the Indiau had hunted, and whither I longed to 
go. The last name, however, had a bogus sound, too 
much like sectarian for me, as if a missionary had tam- 
pered with it ; but I know that the Indians were very 
liberal. I think I should have inclined to the Tomhegan 

We then crossed another broad bay, which, as we 
could no longer observe the shore particularly, afforded 
ample time for conversation. The Indian said that he 
had got his money by hunting, mostly high up the west 
branch of the Penobscot, and toward the head of the St. 
John ; he had hunted there from a boy, and knew all 
about that region. His game had been, beaver, otter, 
black cat (or fisher), sable, moose, &c. Loup cervier 
(or Canada lynx) were plenty yet in burnt grounds. 
For food in the woods, he uses partridges, ducks, dried 
moose-meat, hedge-hog, &c. Loons, too, were good, only 
" bile 'em good." He told us at some length how he had 
suffered from starvation when a mere lad, being over- 
taken by winter when hunting with two grown Indians 
in the northern part of Maine, and obliged to leave their 
canoe on account of ice. 

Pointing into the bay, he said that it was the way to 
rarious lakes which he knew. Only solemn bear-haunte<i 


mountains, with their great wooded slopes, were visible ; 
where, as man is not, we suppose some other power to 
be. My imagination personified the slopes themselves, 
as if by their very length they would waylay you, and 
compel you to camp again on them before night. Some 
invisible glutton would seem to drop from the trees and 
gnaw at the heart of the solitary hunter who threaded 
those woods ; and yet I was tempted to walk there. 
The Indian said that he had been along there several 

I asked him how he guided himself in the woods. 
" 0," said he, " I can tell good many ways." "When I 
pressed him further, he answered, " Sometimes I lookum 
side-hill," and he glanced toward a high hill or mountain 
on the eastern shore, " great difference between the north 
and south, see where the sun has shone most. So trees, — 
the large limbs bend toward south. Sometimes I lookum 
locks " (rocks). I asked what he saw on the rocks, but 
he did not describe anything in particular, answering 
vaguely, in a mysterious or drawling tone, " Bare locks 
on lake shore, — great difference between N. S. E. W. 
side, — can tell what the sun has shone on." " Suppose,'' 
said I, " that I should take you in a dark night, right up 
here into the middle of the woods a hundred miles, set you 
down, and turn you round quickly twenty times, could 
you steer straight to Oldtown?" "0 yer," said he, 
" have done pretty much same thing. I will tell you. 
Some years ago I met an old white hunter at Millinocket ; 
very good hunter. He said he could go anywhere ia 
ihe woods. He wanted to hunt with me that day, so 
we start. We chase a moose all the forenoon, round 
and round, till middle of afternoon, when we kill him. 
Then 1 said to him, now you go straight to camp. Don'l 


go round and round where we 've been, but go straight 
He said, I can't do that, I don't know where I am 
Where you think camp ? I asked. He pointed so 
Then I laugh at him. I take the lead and go right off 
the other way, cross our tracks many times, straighl 
camp." " How do you do that ? " asked I. " 0, 1 can't 
tell you" he replied. " Great difference between me 
and white man." 

It appeared as if the sources of information were so 
various that he did not give a distinct, conscious attention 
to any one, and so could not readily refer to any when 
questioned about it, but he found his way very much 
as an animal does. Perhaps what is commonly called 
instinct in the animal, in this case is merely a sharpened 
and educated sense. Often, when an Indian says, "I 
don't know," in regard to the route he is to take, he does 
not mean what a white man would by those words, for 
his Indian instinct may tell him still as much as the 
most confident white man knows. He does not carry 
things in his head, nor remember the route exactly like 
a white man, but relies on himself at the moment. Not 
having experienced the need of the other sort of knowl- 
edge, all labelled and arranged, he has not acquired it. 

The white hunter with whom I talked in the stage 
knew some of the resources of the Indian. He said that 
he steered by the wind, or by the limbs of the hemlocks, 
which were largest on the south side ; also sometimes, 
when he knew that there was a lake near, by firing his 
gun and listening to hear the direction and distance of 
the echo from over it. 

■' The course we took over this lake, and others after- 
ward, was rarely direct, but a succession of curves from 
point to point, digressing considerably into each of th« 


bays ; and this was not merely on account of the wind, 
for the Indian, looking toward the middle of the lake, 
said it was hard to go there, easier to keep near the 
shore, because he thus got over it by successive reaches 
and saw by the shore how he got along. 

The following will suffice for a common expeiience in 
crossing lakes in a canoe. As the forenoon advanced 
the wind increased. The last bay which we crossed 
before reaching the desolate pier at the northeast carry, 
was two or three miles over, and the wind was south- 
westerly. After going a third of the way, the waves had 
increased so as occasionally to wash into the canoe, and 
we saw that it was worse and worse ahead. At first we 
might have turned about, but were not willing to. It 
would have been of no use to follow the course of the 
isbore, for not only the distance would have been much 
greater, but the waves ran still higher there on account 
of the greater sweep the wind had. At any rate it would 
have been dangerous now to alter our course, because 
the waves would have strr>v.k us at an advantage. It 
will not do to meet them at right angles, for then they 
will wash in both sides, but you must take them quarter- 
ing. So the Indian stood up in the canoe, and exerted 
all his skill and strength for a mile or two, while I pad- 
dled right along in order to give him more steerage-way. 
For more than a mile he did not allow a single wavt; to 
strike the canoe as it would, but turned it quickly from 
this side to that, so that it would always be on or near 
the crest of a wave when it broke, where all its force 
was spent, and we merely settled down with it. At 
length I jumped out on to the end of the pier, against 
which the waves were dashing violcn*^^ly, in order to 
lighten the canoe, and catch it at the landing, which was 


not much sheltered ; but just as I jumped we took in 
two or three gallons of water. I remarked to the Indian, 
" You managed that well," to which he replied : " Ver 
few men do that. Great many waves ; when I look out 
for one, another come quick." 

While the Indian went to get cedar-bark, &c., to carry 
Lis canoe with, we cooked the dinner on the shore, at 
tLis end of the carry, in the midst of a sprinkling rain. 

He prepared his canoe for carrying in this wise. He 
took a cedar shingle or splint eighteen inches long and 
four or five wide, rounded at one end, that the corners 
might not be in the way, and tied it with cedar-bark by 
two holes made midway, near the edge on each side, to 
the middle crossbar of the canoe. When the canoe w is 
lifted upon his head bottom up, this shingle, with its 
rounded end uppermost, distributed the weight over his 
shoulders and head, while a band of cedar-bark, tied to 
the cross-bar on each side of the shingle, passed round 
his breast, and another longer one, outside of the last, 
round his forehead ; also a hand on each side rail served 
to steer the canoe and keep it from rocking. He thus 
carried it with his shoulders, head, breast, forehead, and 
both hands, as if the upper part of his body were all one 
hand to clasp and hold it. If you kno*v of a better way, 
I should like to hear of it. A cedar-tree furnished all 
the gear in this case, as it had the woodwork of the 
canoe. One of the paddles rested on the crossbars in 
the bows. I took the canoe upon my head and foand 
that I could carry it with ease, though the straps were 
not fitted to my shoulders ; but I let liim carry it, not 
caring to establish a different precedent, though he said 
that if I would carry the canoe, he would take all the 
reet of the baggage, except my companion's. This shii> 


gle remained tied to the crossbar throughout the voyage, 
was always ready for the carries, and also served to pro- 
tect the back of one passenger. 

We were obliged to go ov3r this carry twice, our loaJ 
w;is so great. But the carries were an agreeable variety, 
and we improved the opportunity to gather the rare 
plants which we had seen, when we returned empty 

We reached the Penobscot about four o'clock, and 
found there some St. Francis Indians encamped on the 
bank, in the same place where I camped with four 
Indians four years before. They were making a canoe, 
and, as then, drying moose-meat. The meat looked very 
suitable to make a black broth at least. Our Indian said 
it was not good. Their camp was covered with spruce- 
bark. They had got a young moose, taken in the river 
a fortnight before, confined in a sort of cage of logs piled 
up cob-fashion, seven or eight feet high. It was quite 
tame, about four feet high, and covered with moose-flies. 
There was a large quantity of cornel (C. stolonifera), 
red maple, and also willow and aspen boughs, stuck 
through between the logs on all sides, but-ends out, and 
on their leaves it was browsing. It looked at first as if 
it were in a bower rather than a pen. 

Our Indian said that he used black spruce-roots to sew 
iv.noes with, obtaining it from high lands or mountains. 
The St. Francis Indian thought that white spruce-roots 
might be best. But the former said, " No good, break, 
can't split 'em ** ; also that they were hard to get, deep 
fn ground, but the black were near the surface, on higher 
land, as well as tougher. He said that the white spruce 
was subekoondark, black, skusk. 1 told him I thought 
that I oould make a canoe, but he expressed great doubt 

9 M 


of it ; at any rate, he thought that my woa k would not M 
"neat" the first time. An Indian at Greenville had 
told me that the winter bark, that is, bark taken off 
before the sap flows in May, was harder and much better 
than summer bark. 

Having reloaded, he paddled down the Penobscot, 
which, as the Indian remarked, and even I detected, 
remembering how it looked before, was uncommonly full, 
We soon after saw a splendid yellow lily (Lilium Gana- 
dense) by the shore, which I plucked. It was six feet 
high, and had twelve flowers, in two whorls, forming a 
pyramid, such as I have seen in Concord. We after- 
ward saw many more thus tall along this stream, and 
also still more numerous on the East Branch, and, on 
the latter, one whi h I thought approached yet nearer to 
the Lilium superbum. The Indian asked what we called 
it, and said that the " loots " (roots) were good for soup, 
that is, to cook with meat, to thicken it, taking the place 
of flour. They get them in the fall. I dug some, and 
found a mass of bulbs pretty deep in the earth, two 
inches in diameter, looking, and even tasting, somewhat 
like raw green corn on the ear. 

When we had gone about three miles down the Penob- 
scot, we saw through the tree-tops a thunder-shower 
coming up in the west, and we looked out a camping- 
place in good season, about five o'clock, on the west side, 
not far below the mouth of what Joe Aitteon, in *63, 
called Lobster Stream, coming from Lobster Pond. Our 
present Indian, however, did not admit this name, nor 
even that of Matahumkeag, which is on the map, but 
called the lake Beskabekuk. 

1 will describe, once for all, the routine of camping af 
this season. We g< nerally told the Indian that we would 


Btop at \l\e first suitable place, so that he might be on the 
lookout for it. Having observed a clear, hard, and flat 
beach to land on, free from mud, and from stones wliich 
would injure the canoe, one would run up the bank to 
see if there were open and level space enough for the 
camp between the trees, or if it could be easily cleared, 
preferring at the same time a cool place, on account of 
insects. Sometimes we paddled a mile or more before 
finding one to our minds, for where the shore was suita- 
ble, the bank would often be too steep, or else too low 
and grassy, and therefore mosquitoey. We then took 
out the baggage and drew up the canoe, sometimes turn- 
ing it over on shore for safety. The Indian cut a path 
to the spot we had selected, which was usually within 
two or three rods of the water, and we carried up our 
baggage. One, perhaps, takes canoe-birch bark, always 
at hand, and dead dry wood or bark, and kindles a fire 
five or six feet in front of where we intend to lie. It 
matters not, commonly, on which side this is, because 
there is little or no wind in so dense a wood at that sea- 
son ; and then he gets a kettle of water from the river, 
and takes out the pork, bread, coffee, &c., from their 
several packages. 

Another, meanwhile, having the axe, cuts down the 
nearest dead rock-maple or other dry hard wood, col- 
.ecting several large logs to last through the night, also 
a green stake, with a notch or fork to it, which is slanted 
o\'er the fire, perhaps resting on a rock or forked stake, 
to hang the kettle on, and two forked stakes and a pole 
for the tent. 

The third man pitches the tent, cuts a dozen or more 
oins with his knife, usually of ra :)ose-vvood, the common 
underwood, to fasten it down with, and then collects an 


armful or two of fir-twigs,* arbor-vitae, spruce, or bem 
lock, whichever is at band, and makes the bed, beginning 
at either end, and laying the twigs wrong-side up, in reg- 
ular rows, covering the stub-ends of the last row ; first, 
however, filling the hollows, if there are any, with coarser 
material. Wrangel says that his guides in Siberia fii-st 
strewed a quantity of dry brushwood on the ground, and 
then cedar twigs on that. 

Commonly, by the time the bed is made, or within fif- 
teen or twenty minutes, the water boils, the pork is fried, 
and supper is ready. We eat this sitting on the ground, 
or a stump, if there is any, around a large piece of birch- 
bark for a table, each holding a dipper in one hand and 
a piece of ship-bread or fried pork in the other, frequently 
making a pass with his hand, or thrusting his head into 
the smoke, to avoid the mosquitoes. 

Next, pipes are lit by those who smoke, and veils are 
donned by those who have them, and we hastily examine 
and dry our plants, anoint our faces and hands, and go 
to bed, — and — the mosquitoes. 

Though you have nothing to do but see the country, 
there 's rarely any time to spare, hardly enough to exam- 
ine a plant, before the night or drowsiness is upon you. 

Such was the ordinary experience, but this evening 
we had camped earlier on account of the rain, and had 
more time. 

We found that our camp to-night was on an old, and 
now more than usually indistinct, supply-road, running 
along the river. What is called a road there shows no 
ruts or trace of wheels, for they are not used ; nor, in- 
deed, of runners, since they are used only in tlie winter 
irben the snow is several feet deep. It is only an indis 
* These twigs are called in Basle's Dictionary, SeiHak 


tinct vista through the wood, which it takes an expen* 
enced eye to detect. 

We had no sooner pitched our tent than the thunder- 
shower burst on us, and we hastily crept under it, draw- 
ing our bags after us, curious to see how much of a shel- 
ter our thin cotton roof was going to be in this excursion. 
Though the violence of the rain forced a fine shower 
through the cloth before it was fairly wetted and shrunk, 
with which we were well bedewed, we managed to keep 
pretty drj', only a box of matches having been left out 
and spoiled, and before we were aware of it the shower 
was over, and only the dripping trees imprisoned us. 

Wishing to see what fishes there were in the river 
there, we cast our lines over the wet bushes on the shore, 
but they were repeatedly swept down the swift stream in 
vain. So, leaving the Indian, we took the canoe just before 
dark, and dropped down the river a few rods to fish at 
the mouth of a sluggish brook on the opposite side. We 
pushed up this a rod or two, where, perhaps, only a canoe 
had been before. But though there were a few small 
fishes, mostly chivin, there, we were soon driven off by 
the mosquitoes. While there we heard the Indian fire 
his gun twice in such rapid succession that we thought it 
must be double-barrelled, though we observed afterwar 1 
that it was single. His object was to clean out and dry 
it after the rain, and he then loaded it with ball, being 
now on ground where he expected to meet with largo 
game. This sudden, loud, crashing noise in the still aisles 
of the forest, affected me like an insult to nature, or ill 
manners at any rate, as if you were to fire a gun in a 
hall or temple. It was not heard far, however, except 
along the river, the sound being rapidly hushed up oi 
absorl ed by the damp trees and mossy ground. 


The Indian made a little smothered fire of damp 
leaves close to the back of the camp, that the smoke 
might drive through and keep out the mosquitoes ; but 
just before we fell asleep this suddenly blazed up, and 
same near setting fire to the tent. We were considerably 
molested by mosquitoes at this camp. 

Sunday, July 26. 

The note of the white-throated sparrow, a very in- 
spiriting but almost wiry sound, was the first heard in 
the morning, and with this all the woods rang. This 
was the prevailing bird in the northern part of Maine. 
The forest generally was all alive with them at this sea- 
son, and they were proportionally numerous and musical 
about Bangor. They evidently breed in that Stale. 
"Wilson did not know where they bred, and says, " Their 
only note is a kind of chip." Though commonly un- 
seen, their simple ah, te-te-te, te-te-te, te-te-te, so sharp and 
piercing, was as distinct to the ear as the passage of a 
spark of fire shot into the darkest of the forest would be 
to the eye. I thought that they commonly uttered it as 
they flew. I hear this note for a few days only in the 
spring, as they go through Concord, and in the fall see 
them again going southward, but then they are mute. 
We were commonly aroused by their lively strain very 
early. What a glorious time they must have in that 
wilderness, far from mankind and election day ! 

I told the Indian that we would go to ( hurch to Che- 
suncook this (Sunday) morning, some fifteen miles. It 
was settled weather at last. A few swallows flitted over 
the water, we heard the white throats along the shore 
the phebe notes of the chicadee, and, I believe, red-starts 
and mooae-flies of large size pursued us in mid-stream. 

The Indian thought that we should lie by on Sundaj 


Said he, "We come here lookura things, look all round; 
but come Sunday, lock up all that, and then Monday look 
again." He spoke of an Indian of his acquaintance who 
had been with some ministers to Ktaadn, and had told 
him how they conducted. This he described in a low and 
solemn voice. " They make a long prayer every morn- 
ing and night, and at every meal. Come Sunday," said 
he, " they stop 'em, no go at all that day, — keep still, — 
preach all day, — first one then another, just like church. 
0, ver good men." " One day," said he, " going along a 
river, they came to the body of a man in the water, 
drowned good while, all ready fall to pieces. They go 
right ashore, — stop there, go no farther that day, — they 
have meeting there, preach and pray just like Sunday. 
Then they get poles and lift up the body, and they go back 
md carry the body -with them. 0, they ver good men." 

I judged from this account that their every camp was 
a camp-meeting, and they had mistaken their route, — 
they should have gone to Eastham ; that they wanted 
an opportunity to preach somewhere more than to see 
Ktaadn. I read of another similar party that seem to 
have spent their time there singing the songs of Zion. 
I was glad that I did not go to that mountain with such 
slow coaches. 

However, the Indian added, plying the paddle all the 
while, that if we would go along, he must go with us, 
he our man, and he suppose that if he no takum pay for 
what he do Sunday, then ther 's no harm, but if he 
takum pay, then wrong. I told him that he was stricter 
than white men. Nevertheless, I noticed that he did 
oot forget to reckon in the Sundays at last. 

He appeared to be a very religious man, and said hi» 
prayers in a loud voice, in Indian, kneeling before thfl 


camp, morning and evening, — sometimes scrambling up 
again in haste when he had forgotten this, and saying 
them with great rapidity. In the course of the day, he 
remarked, not very originally, " Poor man remember- 
nm God more than rich." 

We soon passed the island where I had camped four 
years before, and I recognized the very spot. The dead 
water, a mile or two below it, the Indian called, Beeka 
bekukskishtuk, from the lake Beskabekuk, which empties 
in above. This dead water, he said, was " a great place 
for moose always." We saw the grass bent where a 
moose came out the night before, and the Indian said 
that he could smell one as far as he could see him ; but, 
he added, that if he should see five or six to-day close 
by canoe, he no shoot 'em. Accordingly, as he was 
the only one of the party who had a gun, or had come 
a-hunting, the moose were safe. 

Just below this, a cat-owl flew heavily over the 
stream, and he, asking if I knew what it was, imitated 
very well the common hoo, hoo, hoo, hoorer, hoo, of our 
woods ; making a hard, guttural sound, " Ugh, ugh, ugh, 
— ugh, ugh," When we passed the Moose-horn, he 
said that it had no name. What Joe Aitteon had 
called Ragmuff, he called Pay tay te quick, and said that 
it meant Burnt Ground Stream. We stopped there, 
where I had stopped before, and I bathed in this tribu- 
tary. It was shallow but cold, apparently too cold for 
the Indian, who stood looking on. As we were pushing 
away again, a white-beaked eagle sailed over our heads. 
A reach some miles above Pine Stream, where there 
were several islands, the Indian said was Nonglangyis, 
dead-water. Pine Stream he called Black River, aad 
said that its Indian name was Karsaootuk. He could 
fo to Caribou Lake that way. 


We carried a part of the baggage about Pine Stream 
Falls, while the Indian went down in the canoe. A 
Bangor merchant hud told us that two men in his em- 
^)loy were drowned some time ago while passing these 
fulls in a bateau, and a third clung to a rock all night, 
and was taken oft" in the morning. There were mag- 
nificent great purple-fringed orchises on this carry and 
lh(j neighboring shores. I measured the largest canoe- 
birch which I saw in this journey near the end of the 
carry. It was 14^ feet in circumference at two feet from 
the ground, but at five feet divided into three parts. The 
canoe-birches thereabouts were commonly marked by 
conspicuous dark spiral ridges, with a groove between, so 
that I thought at first that ihey had been struck by light- 
ning, but, as the Indian said, it was evidently caused by 
the grain of the tree. He cut a small, woody knob, as 
big as a filbert, from the trunk of a fir, apparently an old 
balsam vesicle filled with wood, which he said was good 

After we had embarked and gone half a mile, my 
companion remembered that he had left his knife, and 
we paddled back to get it, against the strong and swift 
current. This taught us the difference between going 
up and down the stream, for while we were working 
our way back a quarter of a mile, we should have gone 
down a mile and a half at least. So we landed, and 
while he and the Indian were gone back for it, 1 
watched the motions of the foam, a kind of white water- 
fowl near the shore, forty or fifty rods below. It alter- 
nately appeared and disappeared behind the rock, being 
tarried round by an eddy. Even this semblance of life 
•Pas interesting on that lonely river. 

Immediately below these falls was the Chesuncoofc 


dead-water, caused by the flowing back of the lake. Ab 
we paddled slowly over this, the Indian told us a story 
of his hunting thereabouts, and something more interest- 
ing about himself. It appeared that he had represented 
his tribe at Augusta, and also once at Washington, where 
he had met some Western chiefs. He had been con- 
sulted at Augusta, and gave advice, which he said was 
followed, respecting the eastern boundary of Maine, as 
determined by highlands and streams, at the time of the 
difficulties on that side. He was employed with the 
surveyors on the line. Also he had called on Daniel 
Webster in Boston, at the time of his Bunker Hill 

I was surprised to hear him say that he liked to go to 
Boston, New York, Philadelphia, &c., &c. ; that he woi'ld 
like to live there. But then, as if relenting a little, when 
he thought what a poor figure he would make there, he 
added, "I suppose, I live in New York, I be poorest 
hunter, I expect." He understood very well both his 
superiority and his inferiority to the whites. He criti- 
cised the people of the United States as compared with 
other nations, but the only distinct idea with which he 
labored was, that they were "very strong," but, like 
some individuals, " too fast." He must have the credit 
of saying this just before the general breaking down of 
railroads and banks. He had a great idea of education., 
and would occasionally break out into such expressions 
as this, " Kademy — a-cad-e-ray — good thing — I sup- 
pose they usum Fifth Reader there You been col- 

From this dead-water the outlines of the mountains 
about Ktaadn were visible. The top of Ktaadn was 
ooncealed by a cloud, but the Souneunk Mountains wer* 


nearer, and quite visible. We steered across the north- 
west end of the lake, from which we looked down south- 
Boutheast, the whole length to Joe Merry Mountain, seen 
over its extremity. It is an agreeable change to cross a 
lake, after you have been shut up in the woods, not only 
on account of the greater expanse of water, but also 
of sky. It is one of the surprises which Nature has in 
store for the traveller in the forest. To look down, in 
this case, over eighteen miles of water, was liberating 
and civilizing even. No doubt, the short distance to 
which you can see in the woods, and the general twilight, 
would at length react on the inhabitants, and make them 
salvages. The lakes also reveal the mountains, and give 
ample scope and range to our thought. The very gulls 
which we saw sitting on the rocks, like white specks, or 
circling about, reminded me of custom-house officers. 
Already there were half a dozen log-huts about this end 
of the lake, though so far from a road. I perceive that 
in these woods the earliest settlements are, for various 
reasons, clustering about the lakes, but partly, I think, 
for the sake of the neighborhood as the oldest clearings. 
They are forest schools already established, — great 
centres of light. Water is a pioneer which the settler 
follows, taking advantage of its improvements. 

Thus far only I had been before. About noon we 
turned northward, up a broad kind of estuary, and at its 
northeast corner found the Caucomgomoc River, and 
after going about a mile from the lake, reached the Um- 
bazookskus, which comes in on the right at a point where 
the former river, coming from the west, turns short to 
the south. Our course was up the Umbazookskus, but 
Bs the Indian knew of a good camping-place, that is, a 
♦ool place wliorc there were few mosquil.o«JS. about half a 


mile farther up the Caucomgomoc, we went thither. TLe 
latter river, judging from the map, is the longer and 
principal stream, and, therefore, its name must prevail 
below the junction. So quickly we changed the civiliz- 
ing sky of Chesuncook for the dark wood of the Cau- 
comgomoc. On reaching the Indian's camping-ground, 
on the south side, where the bank was about a dozen feet 
high, I read on the trunk of a fir-tree blazed by an axe 
an inscription in charcpal which had been left by liim. 
It was surmounted by a drawing of a bear paddling a 
canoe, which he said was the sign which had been used 
by his family always. The drawing, though rude, could 
not be mistaken for anything but a bear, and he doubted 
my ability to copy it. The inscription ran thus, verbatim 
et litci'atim. I interline the English of his Indian as ha 
gave it to me. 

[Th2 figure of a bear in a boat.] 

July 26, 



Wo alone 















July 15, 

He added now below : — 


Jaly 9«. 

lo. Poll*. 


This was one of his homes. I saw where he had 
lometiraes stretched his moose-hides on the opposite or 
sunny north side of the river, where there was i narrow 

After we had selected a place for our camp, and kin- 
dled our fire, almost exactly on the site of the Indian's 
last camp here, he, looking up, observed, "That tree 
danger." It was a dead part, more than a foot in diam- 
ter, of a large canoe-birch, which branched at the ground. 
This branch, rising thirty feet or more, slanted directly 
over the spot which we had chosen for our bed. I told 
him to try it with his axe ; but he could not shake it 
perceptibly, and, therefore, seemed inclined to disregard 
it, and my companion expressed his willingness to run 
the risk. But it seemed to me that we should be fools 
to lie under it, for though the lower part was firm, the 
top, for aught we knew, might be just ready to fall, and 
we should at any rate be very uneasy if the wind arose 
[w the night. It is a common accident for men camping 
in the woods to be killed by a falling tree. So the camp 
was moved to the other side of the fire. 

It was, as usual, a damp and shaggy forest, that Cau- 
comgomoc one, and the most you knew about it was, that 
on this side it stretched toward the settlements, and on 
that to still more unfrequented regions. You carried so 
much topography in your mind always, — and sometimes 
it seemed to make a considerable difference whether 
you sat or lay nearer the settlements, or farther off, than 
your companions, — were the rear or frontier man of the 
camp. But there is really the same difference between 
our positions wherever we may be camped, and some are 
dearer the frontiers on feather-beds in fhe towns than 
omcrs on fir-twijrs in the backwoods. 


The Indian said that the Umbazookskus, being a dead 
Btrearn with broad meadows, was a good place for moose, 
and he frequently came a-hunting here, being out alone 
three weeks or more fi'om Oldtown. He sometimes, 
also, went a-hunting to the Seboois Lakes, taking tho 
stage, with his gun and ammunition, axe and blankets, 
hard bread and pork, perhaps for a hundred miles of the 
way, and jumped off at the wildest place on the road, 
where he was at once at home, and every rod was a tav- 
ern-site for him. Then, after a short journey through 
the woods, he would build a spruce-bark canoe in one 
day, putting but few ribs into it, that it might be light, 
and after doing his hunting with it on the lakes, would 
return with his furs the same way he had come. Thus 
you have an Indian availing himself cunningly of the 
advantages of civilization, without losing any of his 
woodcraft, but proving himself the more successful hunter 
for it. 

This man was very clever and quick to learn anything 
in his line. Our tent was of a kind new to him ; but 
when he had once seen it pitched it was surprising how 
quickly he would find and prepare the pole and forked 
Btakes to pitch it with, cutting and placing them right the 
first time, though I am sure that the majority of white 
men would have blundered several times. 

This river came from Caucomgomoc Lake, about ten 
miles fartlier up. Though it was sluggish here, there 
were falls not far above us, and we saw the foam from 
them go by from time to time. The Indian said that 
Caticomgomoc meant Big-gull Lake, (i. e. Herring-gull, 
I suppose,) gomoc meaning lake. Hence this was Caik 
conujomoctook, or the rivi^r from that lake. This was the 
Penobscot Caucoinyinioc-tuok ! there was anotlier Sl 


/ohil one not far north. He finds the eggs of this gull, 
sometiraes twenty together, as big as hen's eggs, on rocky 
ledges on the west side of Millinocket River, for instance, 
and eats them. 

Now I thought I would observe how he spent his Sun- 
daj. While I and my companion were looking about at 
tb3 trees and river, he went to sleep. Indeed, he im- 
proved every opportunity to get a nap, whatever the day. 

Rambling about the woods at this camp, I noticed that 
they consisted chiefly of firs, black spruce, and some 
white, red maple, canoe-birch, and, along the river, the 
hoary alder, Alniis incana. I name them in the order of 
their abundance. The Viburnum nudum was a common 
shrub, and of smaller plants, there were the dwarf-cornel, 
great round-leaved orchis, abundant and in bloom (a 
greenish-white flower growing in little communities), 
Uvularia grandijiora, whose stem tasted like a cucumber, 
Pyrola secunda, apparently the commonest Pyrola in those 
woods, now out of bloom, Pyrola elliptica, and Ghiogenea 
hispidula. The Glintonia borealis, with ripe berries, was 
very abundant, and perfectly at home there. Its leaves, 
disposed commonly in triangles about its stem, were just 
as handsomely formed and green, and its berries as blue 
and glossy, as if it grew by some botanist's favorite path. 

I could trace the outlines of large birches that had 
fallen long ago, collapsed and rotted and turned to soil, 
by faint yellowish-green lines of feather-like moss, 
eighteen inches wide and twenty or thirty feet long, 
crossed by other similar lines. 

I heard a Maryland yellow-throat's midnight strain, 
wood-thrush, kingfisher (tweezer bird), or parti-colored 
warbler, and a night-hawk. I also heard and saw red 
s fiiirrels, and heard a bull-frog. The Indian said that 
1 3 heard a snake. 


"Wild as it was, it was hard for me :o get rid of the 

associations of the settlements. Any steady and monot- 
onous sound, to which I did not distinctly attend, passed 
for a sound of human industry. The waterfalls which 
I heard were not without their dams and mills to my im- 
agination, — and sevcRil times I found that I had been re- 
garding the steady rushing sound of the wind from over 
the woods beyond the rivers as that of a train of cars, — 
the cars at Quebec. Our minds anywhere, when left to 
themselves, are always thus busily drawing conclusions 
from false premises. 

I asked the Indian to make us a sugar-bowl of birch- 
lark, which he did, using the great knife which dangled 
in a sheath from his belt; but the bark broke at the cor- 
nel's when he bent it up, and he said it was not good; 
that there was a great difference in this respect between 
the bark of one canoe-birch and that of another, i. e. one 
cracked more easily than another. I used some thin and 
delicate sheets of this bark which he split and cut, in my 
flower-book ; thinking it would be good to separate the 
dried specimens'from the green. 

My companion, wishing to distinguish between the 
black and white spruce, asked Polls to show him a twig 
of the latter, which he did at once, together with the 
black ; indeed, he could distinguish them about as far as 
he could see them ; but as the two twigs appeared very 
much alike, my companion asked the Indian to point out 
the difference ; whereupon tiie latter, taking the twigs, in- 
stantly remarked, as he passed his hand over them succes- 
sively in a stroking manner, that the white was rough (i. 6, 
the needles stood up nearly perpendicular), but the black 
smooth (i. e. as if bent or combed down). This was an 
obvious difference, both to sight and touch. However, if J 


remember rightly, this would not serve to distinguish the 
white spruce from the light-colored variety of the black. 

I asked him to let me see him get some black spruce 
root, and make some thread. Whereupon, without lool • 
ing up at the trees overhead, he began to grub in the 
ground, instantly distinguishing the black spruce roots, 
and cutting off a slender one, three or four feet long, and 
as big as a pipe-stem, he split the end with his knife, and 
taking a half between the thumb and forefinger of each 
hand, rapidly separated its Avhole length into two equal 
semi-cylindrical halves ; then giving me another root, he 
said, " You try." But in my liands it immediately ran 
off one side, and I got only a very short piece. In short, 
though it looked very easy, I found that there was a 
great art in splitting these roots. The split is skilfully 
humored by bending short with this hand or that, and so 
kept in the middle. He then took off the bark from 
each half, pressing a short piece of cedar bark against 
the convex side with both hands, while he drew the root 
upward with his teeth. An Indian's teeth are strong, 
and I noticed that he used his often where we should 
have used a hand. They amounted to a third hand. He 
thus obtained, in a moment, a very neat, tough, and flexi- 
ble string, which he could tie into a knot, or make into a 
fish-line even. It is said that in Norway and Sweden the 
roots of the Norway spruce (Abies excelsa) are used in 
the same way for the same purpose. He said that you 
would be obliged to give half a dollar for spruce root 
enough for a canoe, thus prepared. He had hired the 
sewing of his own canoe, though he made all the rest. 
The root in his canoe was of a pale slate color, probably 
acquired by exposure to the weather, or perhaps from 
being boiled in water first, 



He had discovered the day before that his canoe leaked 
a little, and said that it was owing to stepping into it 
violently, which forced the water under the edge of the 
horizontal seams on the side. I asked him where he 
would get pitch to mend it with, for they commonly une 
hard-pitch, obtained of the whites at Oldtown. He said 
that he could make something very similar, and equally 
good, not of spruce gum, or the like, but of material 
which we had with us ; and he wished me to guess what. 
But I could not, and he would not tell me, though he 
showed me a ball of it when made, as big as a pea, and 
like black pitch, saying, at last, that there were some 
things which a man did not tell even his wife."^ It may 
have been his own discovery. In Arnold's expedition 
the pioneers used for their canoe "the turpentine of the 
pine, and the scrapings of the pork-bag." 

Being curious to see what kind of fishes there were 
in this dark, deep, sluggish river, I cast in my line just 
before night, and caught several small somewhat yellow- 
ish sucker-like fishes, which the Indian at once rejected, 
saying that they were Michigan fish (i. e. soft and stink- 
ing fish) and good for nothing. Also, he would not 
touch a pout, which I caught, and said that neither 
Indians nor whites thereabouts ever ate them, which I 
thought was singular, since they are esteemed in Massa- 
chusetts, and he iiad told me that he ate hedgehogs, 
Joons, &c. But he said that some small silvery fishes, 
which I called white chivin, which were similar in size 
and form to the first, were the best fish in the Penobscot 
waters, and if I would toss them up the bank to him, he 
would cook them for me. After cleaning them, not very 
carefully, leaving the heads on, he laid them on the coal* 
and so broiled them. 


Returning from a short walk, he brought a vine in hia 
hand, and asked me if I knew what it was, saying that 
it made the best tea of anything in the woods. It was 
the Creeping Snowberry (^Ghiogenes hispidula), which 
was quite common there, its berries just grown. He 
called it cowosnebagosar, which name implies that it 
grows where old prostrate trunks have collapsed and 
rotted. So we determined to have some tea made of 
this to-night. It had a slight checkerberry flavor, and 
we both agreed that it was really better than the black 
tea which we had brought. We thought it quite a dis- 
covery, and that it might well be dried, and sold in the 
shops. I, for one, however, am not an old tea-drinker, 
and cannot speak with authority to others. It would 
have been particularly good to carry along for a cold 
drink during the day, the water thereabouts being inva- 
riably warm. The Indian said that they also used for 
tea a certain herb which grew in low ground, which he 
did not find there, and Ledum, or Labrador tea, which I 
have since found and tried in Concord ; also hemlock 
leaves, the last especially in the winter, when the other 
plants were covered with snow ; and various other things ; 
but he did not approve of arbor vitce, which I said I had 
drunk in those woods. We could have had a new kind 
of tea every night. 

Just before night we saw a musquash, (he did not say 
muskrat,) the only one we saw in this voyage, swimming 
downward on the opposite side of the stream. The 
Indian, wishing to get one to eat, hushed us, saying. 
" Stop, me call 'em " ; and sitting flat on the bank, he 
began to make a curious squeaking, wiry sound with his 
lips, exerting himself considerably. I was greatly sur- 
prised, — thought that I had at last got intc the wilder 


ness, and that he was a wild man indeed, to be talking 
to a musquash ! I did not know which of the two waa 
the strangest to me. He seemed suddenly to have quite 
forsaken humanity, and gone over to the musquash side. 
The musquash, however, as near as I could see, did not 
turn aside, though he may have hesitated a little, and the 
Indian said that he saw our fire ; but it was evident that 
he was in the habit of calling the musquash to him, as he 
said. An acquaintance of mine who was hunting moose 
in those woods a month after this, tells me that his Indian 
in this way repeatedly called the musquash within reach 
of his paddle in the moonlight, and struck at them. 

The Indian said a particularly long prayer this Sun- 
day evening, as if to atone for working in the morning. 

Monday, July 27. 

Having rapidly loaded the canoe, which the Indian 
always carefully attended to, that it might be well 
trimmed, and each having taken a look, as usual, to see 
that nothing was left, we set out again, descending the 
Caucomgomoc, and turning northeasterly up the Umba' 
zookskus. This name, the Indian said, meant Much 
Meadow River. We found it a very meadowy stream, 
and dead water, and now very wide on account of the 
rains, though, he said, it was sometimes quite narrow. 
The space between the woods, chiefly bare meadow, was 
from fifty to two hundred rods in breadth, and is a rare 
place for moose. It reminded me of the Concord ; and 
what increased the resemblance, was one old musquash 
house almost afloat. 

In the water on the meadows grew sedges, wool-grass, 
the common blue-flag abundantly, its flower just showing 
itself above the high water, as if it were a blue water 


lilj, and higher in the meadows a great many clumps of 
a peculiar narrow-leaved willow (Salix petiolaris), which 
is common in our river meadows. It was the prevailing 
one here, and the Indian said that the musquash ate 
much of it; and here also grew the red osier {Comui 
ttolonifera), its large fruit now whitish. 

Thoufrh it was still early in the morning, we saw night- 
liavvks circling over the meadow, and as usual heard the 
Pepe (Muscicapa Cooperi), which is one of the pre- 
vailing birds in these woods, and the robin. 

It was unusual for the woods to be so distant from the 
shore, and there was quite an echo from them, but when 
I was shouting in order to awake it, the Indian reminded 
me that I should scare the moose, which he was looking 
out for, and which we all wanted to see. The word for 
echo was Pockadunkquaywayle. 

A broad belt of dead larch-trees along the distant edge 
of the meadow, against the forest on each side, increased 
the usual wildness of the scenery. The Indian called 
these juniper, and said that they had been killed by the 
back water caused by the dam at the outlet of Chesun- 
cook Lake, some twenty miles distant. I plucked at the 
water's edge the Ascleptas incarnata, with quite hand- 
some flowers, a brighter red than our variety (the pul- 
chra). It was the only form of it which I saw there. 

Having paddled several miles up the Umbazookskus, 
it suddenly contracted to a mere brook, narrow and 
^.w^ft, the larches and other trees approaching the bank 
and leaving no open meadow, and we landed to get a 
black-spruce pole for pushing against the stream. This 
was the first occasion for one. The one selected was quite 
slender, cut about ten feet long, merely whittled to a point, 
and the bark shaved off. The stream, though narrow 


and swift, was still deep, with a muddy bottom, as 1 
proved by diving to it. Beside the plants which I have 
mentioned, I observed on the bank here the Salix cor- 
data and rostrata, Eanunculus rccurvatus, and liubm 
tiiflorus with ripe fruit. ^ 

While we were thus employed, two Indians in a canoo 
bove in sight round the bushes, coming down stream. 
Our Indian knew one of them, an old man, and fell into 
conversation with him in Indian. He belonged at the 
foot of Moosehead. The other was of another tribe. 
They were returning from hunting. I asked the younger 
if they had seen any moose, to which he said no ; but I, 
seeing the moose-hides sticking out from a great bundle 
made with their blankets in the middle of the canoe, 
added, " Only their hides." As he was a foreigner, he 
may have wished to deceive me, for it is against the law 
for white men and foreigners to kill moose in Maine 
at this season. But, perhaps, he need not have been 
alarmed, for the moose-wardens are not very particular. 
I heard quite directly of one, who being asked by a white 
man going into the woods what he would say if he killed 
a moose, answered, " If you bring me a quarter of it, I 
guess you won't be troubled." His duty being, as he said, 
only to prevent the " indiscriminate " slaughter of them 
for their hides. I suppose that he would consider it an 
indiscriminate slaughter when a quarter was not re- 
served for himself. Such are the perquisites of thi.^ 
I'ffice. ^ 

We continued along through the most extensive larch 
wood which I had seen, — tall and slender trees with fan- 
tastic branches. But though this was the prevailing tree 
here, I do not remember that we saw any afterward 
You do not ilnd straggling trees of this species here and 


/here throughout the wood, but rather a little forest of 
them. The same is the case with the white and red 
pines, and some other trees, greatly to the convenience 
of the lumberer. They are of a social habit, growing in 
" veins," " clumps," " groups," or " communities," as the 
explorers call them, distinguishing them far away, from 
the top of a hill or a tree, the white pines towering above 
the surrounding forest, or else they form extensive forests 
by themselves. I would have liked to come across a 
large community of pines, which had never been invaded 
by the lumbering army. 

We saw some fresh moose tracks along the shore, but 
the Indian said that the moose were not driven out of the 
woods by the flies, as usual at this season, on account of 
the abundance of water everywhere. The stream was 
only from one and one half to three rods wide, quite 
winding, with occasional small islands, meadows, and 
some very swift and shallow places. When we came to 
an island, the Indian never hesitated which side to take, 
as if the current told him which was the shortest and 
deepest. It was lucky for us that the water was so high. 
We had to walk but once on this stream, carrying a part 
of the load, at a swift and shallow reach, while he got up 
with the canoe, not being obliged to take out, though he 
Baid it was very strong water. Once or twice we passed 
the red wreck of a bateau which had been stove some 

While making this portage I saw many splendid speci- 
mens of the great purple-fnnged orchis, three feet high. 
It is remarkable that such dehcate flowers should here 
adorn these wilderness paths. 

Having resumed our seats in the canoe, I felt the In- 
dian wiping my back, which he had accidentally spat 


Upon. He said it was a sign that I was going to b« 

The Umbazookskns River is called ten miles long. 
Having polled up the narrowest point some three or four 
miles, the next opening in the sky was over Umbazook- 
skMs Lake, which we suddenly entered about eleven 
o'clock in the forenoon. It stretches northwesterly four 
or five miles, with what tbe Indian called the Caucom- 
gomoc Mountain seen far beyond it. It was an agree- 
able change. 

This lake was very shallow a long distance from the 
shore, and I saw stone heaps on the bottom, hke those 
in the Assabet at home. The canoe ran 'nto one. The 
Indian thought that they were made by an eel. Joe 
Aitteon in 1853 thought that they were made by chub. 
We crossed the southeast end of the lake lo !he carry 
into Mud Pond. 

Umbazookskus Lake is the head of the Penobscot 
in this direction, and Mud Pond is the nearest herd of 
the Allegash, one of the chief sources of the St. John. 
Hodge, who went through this way to the St. Lawrence 
in the service of the State, calls the portage here a mile 
and three quarters long, and states that Mud Pond has 
been found to be fourteen feet higher than Umbazook- 
skus Lake. As the west branch of the Penobscot at the 
Moosehead carry is considered about twenty-five feei 
lower than Moosehead Lake, it appears that the Penob- 
scot in the upper part of its course runs in a broad and 
shallow valley, between the Kennebec and St. Johns, 
and lower than either of them, though, judging from the 
map, you might expect it to be the highest. 

Mud Pond is about half-way from Umbazookskus to 
Chamberlain Lake, into which it empties, and to which 


«ro were bound. The Indian said that this was the 
wettest carry in the State, and as the season was a very 
wet one, we anticipated an unpleasant walk. As usual 
he made one large bundle of the pork-keg, cooking uten- 
sils, and other loose traps, by tying them up in his blan- 
ket. We should be obliged to go over the carry twice, 
and our method was to carry one half part way, and 
then go back for the rest. 

Our path ran close by the door of a log-hut in a clear- 
ing at this end of the carry, which the Indian, who alone 
entered it, found to be occupied by a Canadian and his 
family, and that the man had been blind for a year. He 
seemed peculiarly unfortunate to be taken blind there, 
where there were so few eyes to see for him. He could 
not even be led out of that country by a dog, but must 
be taken down the rapids as passively as a barrel of 
flour. This was the first house above Chesuncook, and 
the last on the Penobscot waters, and was built here, no 
doubt, because it was the route of the lumberers in the 
winter and spring. 

After a slight ascent from the lake through the springy 
soil of the Canadian's clearing, we entered on a level and 
very wet and rocky path through the univcirsal dense 
evergreen forest, a loosely pa\^d gutter merely, where 
we went leaping from rock to rock and from side to side, 
in the vain attempt to keep out of the water and mud. 
Wo concluded that it was yet Penobscot water, though 
there was no flow to it. It was on this carry that the 
white hunter whom I met in the stage, as he told me, 
had shot two bears a few months before. They stood 
directly in the path, and did not turn out for him. They 
might be excused for not turning out there, or only tak- 
ing the right as the law directs. He said that at this 


seabon bears were found on the mountains and hillsides, 
in search of berries, and were apt to be saucy, — that 
we might come across them up Trout Stream ; and he 
added, what I hardly credited, that n^iny Indians slept 
in their canoes, not daring to sleep on land, on account 
of them. 
'^^ Here commences what was called, twenty years ago, 
ike best timber land in the State. This very spot was 
described as " covered with the greatest abundance of 
^ pine," but now this appeared to me, comparatively, an 
uncommon tree t here, -^- and yet you did not see where 
any more could have stood, amid the dense growth of 
cedar, fir, &c. It was then proposed to cut a canal from 
lake to lake here, but the outlet was finally made farther 
east, at Telos Lake, as we shall see. 

The Indian with his canoe soon disappeared before 
us ; but erelong he came back and told us to take a path 
which turned off westward, it being better walking, and, 
at my suggestion, he agreed to leave a bough in the 
regular carry at that place, that we might not pass it by 
mistake. Thereafter, he said, we were to keep the main 
path, and he added, " You see 'em my tracks." But I 
had not much faith that we could distinguish his tracks, 
since others had passed over the carry within a few 

We turned off at the right place, but were soon con- 
fused by numerous logging-paths, coming into the one 
we were on, by which lumberers had been to pick out 
those pines which I have mentioned. However, we kept 
what we considered the main path, though it was a wind- 
ing one, and in this, at long intervals, we distinguished a 
faint trace of a footstep. This, though comparutively 
unworn, was at first a better, or, at least, a drier road 


than the re^alar carry which we had left. It led through 
an arbor-vitae wilderness of the grimmest character. 
The great falkn and rotting trees had been cut through 
and rolled aside, and their huge trunks abutted on the 
path on each side, while others still lay across it two 
or three feet high. It was impossible for us to discern 
the Indian's trail in the elastic moss, which, like a thick 
carpet, covered every rock and fallen tree, as well as the 
earth. Nevertheless, I did occasionally detect the track 
of a man, and I gave myself some credit for it. I carried 
my whole load at once, a heavy knapsack, and a large 
India-rubber bag, containing our bread and a blanket, 
swung on a paddle ; in all, about sixty pounds ; but ray 
companion preferred to make two journeys, by short 
stages, while I waited for him. We could not be sure 
that we were not depositing our loads each time farther 
off from the true path. 

As I sat waiting for my companion, he would seem to 
be gone a long time, and I had ample opportunity to 
make observations on the forest. I now first began to 
be seriously molested by the black-fly, a very small but 
perfectly formed fly of that color, about one tenth of an 
inch long, which I first felt, and then saw, in swarms 
about me, as I sat by a wider and more than usually 
loubtful fork in this dark forest-path. The hunters tell 
bloody stories about them, — how they settle in a ring about 
your neck, before you know it, and are wiped off in 
great numbers with yojr blood. But remembering that 
I had a wash in my knapsack, prepared by a thoughtful 
hand in Bangor, I made haste to apply it to my face 
ind hands, and was glad to find it effectual, as long as it 
was fresh, or for twenty minute& not only against black- 
flies, but all the insects that molested us. They would 


not aliglit on the part thus defended. It was composed 
of sweetroil and oil of turpentine, with a little oil of 
Bpearmint, and camphor. However, I finally concluded 
that the remedy was worse than the disease. It was so 
disagreeable and inconvenient to have your face jind 
hands covered with such a mixture. 

Three large slate-colored birds of the jay genus ( Gai-- 
ruliis Canadensis), the Canada-jay, moose-bird, meat-bird, 
or what not, came flitting silently and by degrees toward 
me, and hopped down the limbs inquisitively to within 
seven or eight feet. They were more clumsy and not 
nearly so handsome as the blue-jay. Fish-hawks, from 
the lake, uttered their sharp whistling notes low over the 
top of the forest near me, as if they were anxious about 
a nest there. 

After I had sat there some time, I noticed at this fork 
in the path a tree which had been blazed, and the letters 
" Chamb. L." written on it with red chalk. This I knew 
to mean Chamberlain Lake. So I concluded that on the 
whole we were on the right course, though as we had 
come nearly two miles, and saw no signs of Mud Pond, 
I did harbor the suspicion that we might be on a direct 
course to Chamberlain Lake, leaving out Mud Pond. 
This I found by my map would be about five miles nor'b- 
easterly, and I then took the bearing by my compass. 

My companion having returned with his bag, and also 
defended his face and hands with the insect-wash, we set 
forward again. The walking rapidly grew worse, and 
the path more indistinct, and at length, after passing 
through a patch of calla paltistris, still abundantly in 
bloom, we found ourselves in a more open and regular 
Bwamp, made less passable than ordinary by the unusua\ 
wetness of the season. We sank a foot dceji in watc/ 


imd mud at every step, and sometimes up to our kneevS, 
and the trail was almost obliterated, being no more than 
that a musquash leaves in similar places, when he parts 
the floating sedge. In fact, it probably was a musquasL 
trail in some places. We concluded that if Mud Pond 
was as muddy as the approach to it was wet, it certainly 
deserved its name. It would have been amusing to 
behold the dogged and deliberate pace at which we 
entered that swamp, without interchanging a word, as if 
determined to go through it, though it should cnme up 
to our necks. Having penetrated a considerable distance 
into this, and found a tussuck on which we could deposit 
our loads, though there was no place to sit, my com- 
panion went back for the rest of his pack. I had thought 
to observe on this carry when we crossed the dividing 
line between the Penobscot and St, John, but as my feet 
had hardly been out of water the whole distance, and it 
was all level and stagnant, I began to despair of finding 
it. I remembered hearing a good deal about the " high- 
lands" dividing the watei'S of the Penobscot from those 
of the St. John, as well as the St. Lawrence, at the time 
of the northeast boundary dispute, and I observed by 
my map, that the line claimed by Great Britain as the 
boundary prior to 1842 passed between Umbazookskus 
Lake and Mud Pond, so that we had either crossed or 
were then on it. These, then, according to her inter- 
pretation of the treaty of '83, were the " highlands which 
divide those rivers that empty themselves into the St. 
Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean." 
Truly an interesting spot to stand on, — if that were it, — 
though you could not sit down there. I thought that if 
the commissioners themselves, and the king of Holland 
with tliem, had spent a few days here, w'th their packs 


upon their backs, looking for that " highland," they would 
have had an interesting time, and perhaps it would have 
modified their views of the question somewhat. The 
king of Holland would have been in his element Such 
were my meditations while my companion was gone back 
for his bag. 

It was a cedar swamp, through which the peculiai 
note of the white-throated sparrow rang loud and clear. 
There grew the side-saddle flower, Labrador tea, KaU 
mia glauca, and, what was new to me, the Low Birch (^- 
tula pumild), a little round-leafed shrub, two or three feet 
high only. We thought to name this swamp after the 

After a long while my companion came back, and the 
Indian with him. We had taken the wrong road, and 
the Indian had lost us. He had very wisely gone back 
to the Canadian's camp, and asked him which way we 
had probably gone, since he could better understand the 
ways of white men, and he told him correctly that we 
had undoubtedly taken the supply road to Chamberlain 
Lake (slender supplies they would get over such a road 
at this season). The Indian was greatly surprised that 
we should have taken what he called a " tow " (i. e. tote 
or toting or supply) road, instead of a carry path,— 
that we had not followed his tracks, — said it was 
" strange," and evidently thought little of our woodcraft. 

Having held a consultation, and eaten a mouthful of 
bread, we concluded that it would, perhaps, be nearer for 
us two now to keep on to Chamberlain Lake, omitting Mud 
Pond, than to go back and start anew for the last place, 
though the Indian had never been through this way, and 
knew nothing about it. In the meanwhile he would gc 
back and finish carrying over his canoe and bundle ts 


Mud Pond, cross that, and go down its outlet and up 
Cliamberlaiu Lake, and trust to meet us there before 
night. It was now a little after noon. He supposed 
that the water in which we stood had flowed back from 
Mud Pond, wliich could not be far off eastward, but was 
unapproachable through the dense cedar swamp. 

Keeping on, we were erelong agreeably disappointed 
by reaching firmer ground, and we crossed a ridge where 
the path was more distinct, but tliere was never any out- 
look over the forest. While descending the last, I saw 
many specimens of the great round-leaved orchis, of large 
size ; one which I measured had leaves, as usual, flat on 
the ground, nine and a half inches long, and nine wide, 
and was two feet high. The dark, damp wilderness is 
fa'^'orable to some of these orchidaceous plants, though 
they are too delicate for cultivation. I also saw the 
swamp gooseberry {Riles lacustre), with green fruit, and 
in all the low ground, where it was not too wet, the Ru- 
hiis trijlorus in fruit. At one place I heard a very clear 
and piercing note from a small hawk, like a single note 
from a white-throated sparrow, only very much louder 
as he dashed through the tree-tops over my head. I 
wondered that he allowed himself to be disturbed by oui 
presence, since it seemed as if he could not easily find 
his nest again himself in that wilderness. "We also saw 
and hoard several times the red squirrel, and often, as 
before observed, the bluish scales of the fir cones which 
it had left on a rock or fallen tree. This, according to 
the Indian, is the only squirrel found in those woods, ex- 
cept a very iQ,\s striped ones. I* must have a solitary 
time in that dark evergreen forest, where there is so little 
life, seventy-five miles from a rood as we had come. I 
wondered how he could call any particular tree there bin 


home ; and yet he would run up the stem of one out of the 
myriads, as if it were an old road to him. How can a 
hawk ever find him there ? I fancied that he must be 
glad to see us, though he did seem to chide us. One of 
tlios3 sombre fir and spruce woods is not complete unless 
you hear from out its cavernous mossy and twiggy 
recesses his fine alarum, — his spruce voice, like the 
working of the sap through some crack in a tree, — the 
working of the spruce-beer. Such an impertinent fellow 
would occasionally try to alarm the wood about me. 
" O," said I, " I am well acquainted with your family, I 
know your cousins in Concord very well. Guess the 
mail 's irregular in these parts, and you 'd like to hear 
from 'em." But my overtures were vain, for he would 
withdraw by his aerial turnpikes into a more distant ce'^-ir- 
top, and spring his rattle again. 

We then entered another swamp, at a necessarily slow 
pace, where the walking was worse than ever, not only 
on account of the water, but the fallen timber, which 
often obliterated the indistinct trail entirely. The fallen 
trees were so numerous, that for long distances the route 
was through a succession of small yards, where we 
I'limbed over fences as high as our heads, down into water 
often up to our knees, and then over another fence into a 
second yard, and so on ; and going back for his bag my 
companion once lost his way and came back without it. 
In many places the canoe would have run if it had not 
been for the fallen timber. Again it would be more 
open, but equally wet, too wet for trees to grow, and no 
[•lace to sit down. It was a mossy swamp, which it re- 
quired the long legs of a moose to traverse, and it is very 
likely that we scared some of them in our transit, thougk 
we saw none. It was ready to echo the growl of a bear 


the howl of a wolf, or the scream of a panther ; but 
when you get fairly into the middle of one of these grim 
forests, you are surprised to find that the larger inhabit- 
ants are not at home commonly, but have left only a puny 
red squirrel to bark at you. Generally speaking, a howl- 
ing wilderness does not howl : it is the imagination of 
the traveller that does the howling. I did, however, see 
one dead porcupine ; perhaps he had succumbed to the 
difficulties of the way. These bristly fellows are a very 
suitable small fruit of such unkempt wildernesses. 

Making a logging-road in the Maine woods is called 
" swamping it," and they who do the work are called 
" swampers." I now perceived the fitness of the term. 
This was the most perfectly swamped of all the roads I 
ever saw. Nature must have co-operated with art here. 
However, I suppose they would tell you that this name 
took its origin from the fact that tlie chief work of road- 
makers in those woods is to make the swamps passable. 
We came to a stream where the bridge, which had been 
made of logs tied together with cedar bark, had been 
broken up, and we got over as we could. This proba- 
bly emptied into Mud Pond, and perhaps the Indian 
might have come up it and taken us in there if he had 
known it. Such as it was, this ruined bridge was the 
ciiief evidence that we were on a path of any kind. 

We then crossed another low rising ground, and I, 
who wore shoes, had an opportunity to wring out my 
stockings, but my companion, who used boots, had found 
tliat this was not a safe experiment for him, for he raiglit 
not be able to get his wet boots on again. He went over 
^I'i whole ground, or water, three times, for which rea- 
son our progress was very slow ; beside that the water 
softened our feet, and to some extent unfitted them fol 
10* o 


walking. As I sat waiting for him, it would naturally 
eeem an unaccountable time that he was gone. There- 
fore, as I could see through the woods that the sun wa« 
getting low, and it was uncertain how far the lake might 
be, even if we were on the right course, and in what 
part of the world we should find ourselves at nightfall, 1 
proposed that I should push through with what spp'^d I 
could, leaving boughs to mark my path, and find the lake 
and the Indian, if possible, before night, and send the 
latter back to carry my companion's bag. 

Having gone about a mile, and got into low ground 
again, I heard a noise like the note of an owl, which J 
soon discovered to be made by the Indian, and answering 
him, we soon came together. He had reached the lake, 
after crossing Mud Pond, and running some rapids be- 
low it, and had come up about a mile and a half on our 
path. If he had not come back to meet us, we probably 
should not have found him that night, for the path 
branched once or twice before reaching this particular 
part of the lake. So he went back for my companion 
and his bag, while I kept on. Having waded through 
another stream where the bridge of logs had been broken 
up and half floated away, — and this was not altogether 
worse than our ordinary walking, since it was less muddy, 
— we continued on, through alternate mud and water, to 
the shore of Apmoojenegamook Lake, which we reached iu 
season for a late supper, instead of dining there, as we 
had expected, having gone W'thout our dinner. It was 
at least five miles by the way we had come, and as my 
companion had gone over most of it three times, hi; had 
walked full a dozen miles, bad as it was. In the winter 
when the water is frozen, and the snow is four feet deep 
it is no doubt a tolerable path to a footman. As it was 


I would not have missed that walk for a good deal. If 
you want an exact recipe for making such a road, take 
one part Mud Pond, and dilute it with equal jnrts of 
Umbazookskus and Apmoojenegamook ; then send a 
family of musquash through to locate it, look after the 
giwdes and culverts, and finish it to their minds, and let 
a hurricane follow to do the fencing. 

We had come out on a point extending into Apmoo- 
jenegamook, or Chamberlain Lake, west of the outlet of 
Mud Pond, where there was a broad, gravelly, and rocky 
shore, encumbered with bleached logs and trees. We 
were rejoiced to see such dry things in that part of the 
world. But at first we did not attend to dryness so much 
as to mud and wetness. We all three walked into the 
lake up to our middle to wash our clothes. 

This was another noble lake, called twelve miles long, 
»ast and west ; if you add Tebos Lake, which, since the 
dam was built, has been connected with it by dead water, 
it will be twenty ; and it is apparently from a mile and 
a half to two miles wide. We were about midway its 
length, on the south side. We could see the only clear- 
ing in these parts, called the " Chamberlain Farm," with 
two or three log buildings close together, on the opposite 
shoi'e, some two and a half miles distant. The smoke 
of our fire on the shore brought over two men in a canoe 
from the farm, that being a common signal agreed on 
when one wishes to cross. It took them about half an 
hour to come over, and they had their labor for their 
pains this time. Even the English name of the lake had 
a wild, woodland sound, reminding me of that Chamber- 
lain who killed Paugus at Lovewell's fight. 

After putting on such dry clotlies as we had, and liang« 
ing the others to dry on the pole which the Indian ar 


ranged over the fire, we ate our supper, and lay down on 
the pebbly shore with our feet to the fire, without pitching 
our tent, making a thin bed of gi*ass to cover the stones. 

Here first I was molested by the little midge called the 
No-see-era (Simulium nocivum, the latter word is not 
the Latin for no-see-em), especially over the sand at the 
water's edge, for it is a kind of sand-fly. You would not 
observe them but for their light-colored wings. They 
are said to get under your clothes, and produce a fever- 
ish heat, which I suppose was what I felt that night. 

Our insect foes in this excursion, to sum them up, 
were, first, mosquitoes, the chief ones, but only troublesome 
at night, or when we sat still on shore by day ; second, 
black flies (Simulium molestum), which molested us more 
or less on the carries by day, as I have before described, 
and sometimes in narrower parts of the stream. Harris 
mistakes when he says that they are not seen after June. 
Third, moose-flies. The big ones, Polis said, were called 
Bososquasis. It is a stout brown fly, much like a horse-fly, 
about eleven sixteenths of an inch long, commonly rusty 
colored beneath, with unspotted wings. They can bite 
smartly, according to Polis, but are easily avoided or 
killed. Fourth, the No-see-ems above mentioned. Of 
all these, the mosquitoes are the only ones that troubled 
me seriously ; but, as I was provided with a wash and a 
veil, they have not made any deep impression. 

The Indian would not use our wash to protect his face 
and hands, for fear that it would hurt his skin, nor had 
he any veil ; he, therefore, suffered from insects now, and 
throughout this journey, more than either of us. I think 
that he suffered more than I did, when neither of us was 
protected. He regularly tied up his face in his handker 
chief, and buried it in his blanket, and he now finally laj 


down on the sand between us and the fire for the sake 
of the smoke, which he tried to make enter his blanket 
about his face, and for the same purpose he lit his pi}>e 
and breathed the smoke into his blanket. 

As we lay thus on the shore, with nothing between us 
and the stars, I inquired what stars he was acquainted 
with, or had names for. They were the Great 15oar, 
wiiich he called by this name, the Seven Stars, which he 
liad no English name for, " the morning star," and " the 
north star." 

In the middle of the night, as indeed each time that 
we lay on the shore of a lake, we heard the voice of the 
loon, loud and distinct, from far over the lake. It is a 
very wild sound, quite in keeping with the place and the 
circumstances of the traveller, and very unlike the voice 
of a bird. I could lie awake for hours listening to it, it 
is so thrilling. \VTien camping in such a wilderness as 
this, you are prepared to hear sounds from some of its in- 
habitants which will give voice to its wildness. Some idea 
of bears, wolves, or panthers runs in your head naturally, 
and when this note is first heard very far off at midnight, 
as you lie with your ear to the ground, — the forest being 
perfectly still about you, you take it for granted that it 
is the voice of a wolf or some other wild beast, for only 
the last part is heard when at a distance, — you conclude 
that it is a pack of wolves baying the moon, or, per- 
chance, cantering after a moose. Strange as it may 
seem, the " mooing " of a cow on a mountain-side comes 
nearest to my idea of the voice of a bear ; and this bird's 
note resembled that. It was the unfailing and character- 
istic sound of those lakes. We were not so lucky as to 
hear wolves howl, though that is an occasional serenade. 
Some friends of mine, who two years ago went up the 


Cauoomgomoc River, were serenaded by woK'es while 
moose-hunting by moonhght. It was a sudden burst, aa 
if a Iiundred demons had broke loose, — a startling sound 
enough, which, if any, would make your hair stand on 
end, and all was still again. It lasted but a moment, and 
you 'd have thought there were twenty of them, when 
probably there were only two or three. They heard it 
twice only, and they said that it gave expression to tho 
wilderness which it lacked before. I heard of some men 
who, while skinning a moose lately in those woods, were 
driven off from the carcass by a pack of wolves, which 
ate it up. 

This of the loon — I do not mean its laugh, but its 
looning — is a long-drawn call, as it were, sometimes 
singularly human to my ear, — hoo-hoo-ooooo, like the 
hallooing of a man on a very high key, having thrown 
his voice into his head. I have heard a sound exactly 
like it when breathing heavily through my own nostrils, 
half awake at ten at night, suggesting my affinity to the 
loon ; as if its language were but a dialect of my own, 
after all. Formerly, when lying awake at midnight in 
those woods, I had listened to hear some words or syl- 
lables of their language, but it chanced that I listened in 
vain until I heard the cry of the loon. I have heard it 
occasionally on the ponds of my native town, but thero 
its wildness is not enhanced by the surrounding scenery. 

I was awakened at midnight by some heavy, low-fly- 
ing bird, probably a loon, flapping by close over my 
head, along the shore. So, turning the other side of mj 
half-clad body to the fire, I sought slumber again. 

Tuesday, July 28. 
When wc awoke we found a heavy dew on our blan 


kets. I lay awake very early, and listened to the clear, 
(shriil ah-tette-tette-te, of the white-throated sparrow, re- 
peated at short intervals, without the least variation, for 
half an hour, as if it could not enough express its hap- 
piness. Whether my companions heard it or not, I 
know not, but it was a kind of matins to me, and tho 
event of that forenoon. 

It was a pleasant sunrise, and we had a view of the 
mountains in the southeast. Ktaadn appeared about 
southeast by south. A double-topped mountain, about 
southeast by east, and another portion of the same, east- 
southeast. The last the Indian called Nerlumskeechti- 
cook, and said that it was at the head of the East Branch, 
and we should pass near it on our return that way. 

We did some more washing in the lake this morning, 
and with our clothes hung about on the dead trees 
and rocks, the shore looked like washing-day at home. 
The Indian, taking the hint, borrowed the soap, and 
walking into the lake, washed his only cotton shirt on his 
person, then put on his pants and let it dry on him. 

I observed that he wore a cotton shirt, originally 
white, a greenish flannel one over it, but no waistcoat, 
flannel drawers, and strong linen or duck pants, which 
also had been white, blue woollen stockings, cowhide 
boots, and a Kossuth hat. He carried no change of 
clothing, but putting on a stout, thick jacket, which he 
laid asid ; in the canoe, and seizing a full-sized axe, his 
gun and ammunition, and a blanket, which would do for 
B sail or knapsack, if warned, and strapping on his belt, 
which contained a large sheath-knife, he walked off at 
once, ready to be gone all summer. This looked very 
independent; a ieyr simple and effective tools, and no 
India-rubber clothing. He was always the first ready 


to start in the morning, and if it had not held some ol 
our property would not have been obliged to roll up his 
blanket. Instead of carrying a large bundle of his own 
extra clothing, &c., he brought back the great-coats of 
moose tied up in his blanket. I found that his outfit was 
the result of a long experience, and in the main hardly lo 
be improved on, unless by washing and an extra shirt. 
Wanting a button here, he walked off to a place where 
Bome Indians had recently encamped, and searched for 
one, but I believe in vain. 

Having softened our stiffened boots and shoes Xfith 
the pork fat, the usual disposition of what was left at 
breakfast, we crossed the lake early, steering in a diag' 
onal direction northeasterly about four miles, to the out- 
let, which was not to be discovered till we were close to 
it. The Indian name, Apmoojenegamook, means lake 
that is crossed, because the usual course lies across, and 
not along it. This is the largest of the Allegash lakes, 
and was the first St. John's water that we floated on. 
It is shaped in the main like Chesuncook. There are 
no mountains or high hills very near it. At Bangor we 
had been told of a township many miles farther north- 
west; it was indicated to us as containing the highest 
land thereabouts, where, by climbing a particular tree in 
the forest, we could get a general idea of the country. 
I have no doubt that the last was good advice, but we 
— — did not go there. We did not intend to go far down the 
Allegash, but merely to get a view of the great lakes 
, which are its source, and then return this way to the 
East Branch of the Penobscot. The water now, by goo<l 
rights, flowed northward, if it could be said to flow at all. 

After reaching the middle of the lake, we found the 
waves as usual pretty high, and the Indian warned m\ 


companion, who was nodding, that he must not allow 
himself to fall asleep in the canoe lest he should upset 
us ; adding, that when Indians want to sleep in a 
canoe, they lie down straight on the bottom. But in this 
crowded one that was impossible. HoAvever, he said 
that he would nudge him if he saw him nodding. 

A belt of dead trees stood all around the lake, some 
far out in the water, with others prostrate behind them, 
and they made the shore, for the most part, almost inac- 
cessible. This is the effect of the dam at the outlet. 
Thus the natural sandy or rocky shore, with its green 
fringe, was concealed and destroyed. We coasted west- 
ward along the north side, searching for the outlet, about 
one quarter of a mile distant from this savage-looking 
shore, on which the waves were breaking violently, 
knowing that it might easily be concealed amid this rub- 
bish, or by the over-lapping of the shore. It is remark- 
able how little these important gates to a lake are bla- 
zoned. There is no triumphal arch over the modest 
inlet or outlet, but at some undistinguished point it tric- 
kles in or out through the uninterrupted forest, almost as 
through a sponge. 

We reached the outlet in about an hour, and carried 
over the dam there, which is quite a solid structure, and 
about one quarter of a mile farther there was a second 
dam. The reader will perceive that the result of this 
particular damming about Chamberlain Lake is, that the 
head-waters of the St. John are made to flow by Ban- 
gor. Tliey have thus dammed all the larger lakes, rais- 
ing their broad surfaces many feet ; Moosehead, foi 
instance, some forty miles long, with its steamer on it; 
thus turning the forces of nature again?!; herself, that they 
might float their spoils out of the country. They rapidly 


run out of these immense forests all the finer, and more 
accessible pine timber, and then leave the bears to watch 
the decaying dams, not clearing nor cultivating the land, 
nor making roads, nor building houses, but leaving it a 
wildorness, as they found it. In many parts, only these 
dams remain, like deserted beaver-dams. Think how 
much land they have flowed, without asking Nature's 
leave ! " When the State wishes to endow an academy or 
university, it grants it a tract of forest land: one saw 
represents an academy ; a gang, a university. 

The wilderness experiences a sudden rise of all her 
streams and lakes, she feels ten thousand vermin gnaw- 
ing at the base of her noblest trees, many combining, 
drag them off, jarring over the roots of the survivors, and 
tumble them into the nearest stream, till the fairest hav- 
ing fallen, they scamper off to ransack some new wilder- 
ness, and all is still again. It is as when a migrating 
army of mice girdles a forest of pines. The chopper 
fells trees from the same motive that the mouse gnaws 
them, — to get his living. You tell me that he has a 
more interesting family than the mouse. That is as it 
happens. He speaks of a "berth" of timber, a good 
place for him to get into, just as a worm might. When 
the chopper would praise a pine, he will commonly tell 
you that the one he cut was so big that a yoke of oxen 
stood on its stump ; as if that were what the pine had 
grown for, to become the footstool of oxen. In my mind's 
eye, I can see these unwieldy tame deer, with a yoke 
binding them together, and brazen-tipped horns betray- 
ing their servitude, taking their stand on the stump of 
each giant pine in succession throughout this whole for- 
est, and chewing their cud there, until it is nothing but 
an ox-pasture, and run out at that. As if it were good 


for the oxen, and some terebinihine or other medicinal 
quality ascended into their nostrils. Or is their elevated 
position intended merely as a symbol of the fact that the 
pastoral comes next in order to the sylvan or hunter life. 
S> The character of the logger's admiration is betrayed 
by his very mode of expressing it. If he told all that 
was in his mind, he would say, it was so big that I cut 
it down and then a yoke of oxen could stand en its 
stump. He admires the log, the carcass or corpse, more 
than the tree. Why, my dear sir, the tree might have 
stood on its own stump, and a great deal more comforta- 
bly and firmly than a yoke of oxen can, if you had not 
cut it down. What right have you to celebrate the vir- J^ 
tues of the man you murdered ? ^ 

The Anglo-American can indeed cut down, and grub 
lip all this waving forest, and make a stump speech, and 
vote for Buchanan on its ruins, but he cannot converse 
with the spirit of the tree he fells, he cannot read the 
poetry and mythology Avhich retire as he advances. He 
ignorantly erases mythological tablets in order to print 
his handbills and town-meeting warrants on them. Be- 
.bre he has learned his a b c in the beautiful but mystic 
lore of the wilderness which Spenser and Dante had just 
begun to read, he cuts it down, coins a ■pine-tree shilling, 
(as if to signify the pine's value to him,) puts up a 
(Restrict school-house, and introduces Webster's spe\'ipg- 

Below the last dam, the river being swift and shallow, 
though b'oad enough, we two walked about half a mile 
lo lighten the canoe. I made it a rule to carry my knap- 
sack when I walked, and also to keep it tied to a cross- 
bar when in the canoe, vnat it migh'i be found with tho 
sanoe if we should upset. 


I heai'd the dog-day locust here, and afterward on the 
carries, a sound which I had associated only with more 
open, if not settled countries. The area for locusts must 
be small in the Maine woods. 

We were now fairly on the Allegash River, which 
name our Indian said meant hemlock bark. These 
waters flow northward about 100 miles, at first very 
feebly, then southeasterly 250 more to the Bay of Fun- 
dy. After perhaps two miles of river, we entered Heron 
Lake, called on the map PongoTcwahem, scaring up forty 
or fifty young shecorways, sheldrakes, at the entrance, 
which ran over the water with great rapidity, as usual 
in a long line. 

This was the fourth great lake, lying northwest and 
southeast, like Chesuncook, and most of the long lakes 
in that neighborhood, and, judging from the map, it is 
about ten miles long. We had entered it on the south- 
west side, and saw a dark mountain northeast over the 
lake, not very far off nor high, which the Indian said was 
called Peaked Mountain, and used by explorers to look 
for timber from. There was also some other high land 
more easterly. The shores were in the same ragged 
and unsightly condition, encumbered with dead timber, 
both fallen and standing, as in the last lake, owing to the 
dam on the Allegash below. Some low points or islands 
were almost drowned. 

I saw something white a mile oflF on the water, which 
turned out to be a great gull on a rock in the middle, 
which the Indian would have been glad to kill and eat, 
but it flew away long before we were near ; and also 
a flock of summer ducks that were about the rock with 
it. I asking him about herons, since this was Heron 
Lake, he said that he found the blue heron's nests ir 


the haril-wood trees. I thought that I saw a light-col- 
ored object move along the opposite or northern shore, 
four or five miles distant. He did not know what it 
could be, unless it were a moose, though he had never 
Been a Avhite one ; but he said that he could distinguish a 
moose " anywhere on shore, clear across the lake." 

Rounding a point, we stood across a bay for a mile and 
a half or two miles, toward a large island, three or four 
miles down the lake. We met with ephemerae (shad-fly) 
midway, about a mile from the shore, and they evident- 
ly fly over the whole lake. On Moosehead I had seen a 
large devil's-needle lialf a mile from the shore, coming 
from the middle of the lake, where it was three or four 
miles wide at least. It had probably crossed. But at 
last, of course, you come to lakes so large that an insect 
cannot fly across them ; and this, perhaps, will serve to 
distinguish a large lake from a small one. 

We landed on the southeast side of the island, Avhich 
was rather elevated, and densely wooded, with a rocky 
I'hore, in season for an early dinner. Somebody had 
camped there not long befoi'e, and left the frame on which 
they stretched a moose-hide, which our Indian criticised 
severely, thinking it showed but little woodcraft. Here 
were plenty of the shells of crayfish, or fresh-water lob- 
sters, which had been washed ashore, such as have given 
a name to some ponds and streams. They are commonly 
four or five inches long. The Indian proceeded at once 
to cut a canoe-birch, slanted it up against another tree 
jn the shore, tying it with a withe, and lay down to sleep 
vU its shade. 

When we were on the Caacomgomoc, he recommended 
to us a new way home, the very one which we had first 
ttiought of, by the St. John. He even said that it was 


easier, and would take but little more time than the 
other, by the east branch of the Penobscot, though very 
much farther round ; and taking the map, he showed 
where we should be each night, for he was familiar with 
the route. According to his calculation, we should reach 
the French settlements the next night after this, by keep- 
ing noithward down the AUegash, and when we got into 
the main St. John the banks would be more or less setr 
tied all the way ; as if that were a recommendation. 
There would be but one or two falls, with short carrying- 
places, and we should go down the stream very fast, even 
a hundred miles a day, if the wind allowed ; and he in- 
dicated where we should carry over into Eel River to 
save a bend below Woodstock in New Brunswick, and 
60 into the Schoodic Lake, and thence to the Matta- 
wamkeag. It would be about tliree hundred and sixty 
miles to Bangor this way, though only about one hun- 
dred and sixty by the other ; but in the former case we 
should explore the St. John from its source through two 
thirds of its course, as well as the Schoodic Lake and 
Mattawarakeag, — and we were again tempted to go that 
way. I feared, however, that the banks of the St. John 
were too much settled. "When I asked him which course 
would take us through the wildest country, he said the 
route by the East Branch. Partly from this considera- 
tion, as also from its shortness, we resolved to adhere to 
the latter route, and perhaps ascend Ktaadn on the way. 
We made this island the limit of our excursion in this 

We had now seen the largest of the Allegash Lakes. 
The next dam " was about fifteen miles " farther nortli, 
iiown the Allegash, and it was dead water so far. Wfc 
bad been told in Bangor of a man who lived alone, a sort 


Df hermit, at that dam, to take care of it, who spent his 
time tossing a bullet from one hand to the other, for want 
of employment, — as if we might want to call on him. 
This sort of tit-for-tat intercourse between his two hands, 
bandying to and fro a leaden subject, seems to have been 
his symbol for society. 

This island, according to the map, was about a hun- 
dred and ten miles in a straight line north-north wesl 
from Bangor, and about ninety-nine miles east-southeast 
from Quebec. There was another island visible toward 
the north end of the lake, with an elevated clearing on 
it ; but we learned afterward that it was not inhabited, 
had only been used as a pasture for cattle which sum- 
mered in these woods, though our informant said that 
there was a hut on the mainland near the outlet of the 
lake. This unnaturally smooth-shaven, squarish spot, in 
the midst of the otherwise uninterrupted forest, only re- 
minded us how uninhabited the country was. You 
would sooner expect to meet with a bear than an ox in 
such a clearing. At any rate, it must have been a sur- 
prise to the bears when they came across it. Such, seen 
fiir or near, you know at once to be man's work, for Na- 
ture never does it. In order to let in the light to the- 
earth as on a lake, he clears off the forest on the hillsides 
and plains, and sprinkles fine grass-seed, like an en- 
chanter, and 80 carpets the earth with a firm swaid. 

Polls had evidently more curiosity respecting the few 
settlers in those woods than we. If nothing was said, 
he took it for granted that we wanted to go straight to 
the next log-hut. Having observed that we came by 
the log-huts at Chesur:ook, and the blind Canadian's at 
♦he Mud Pond carry, without stopping to communicate 
with the inhabitants, he took occasion now to suggest 


that the usual way was, when you came near a house, t« 
go to it, and tell the inhabitants what you had seen or 
heard, and then they tell you what they had seen ; but 
we laughed, and said that we had had enough of houses 
for the present, and had come here partly to avoid them. 
In the mean while, the wind, increasing, blew down the 
Indian's birch and created such a sea that we found our- 
selves prisoners on the island, the nearest shore, which 
was the western, being perhaps a mile distant, and we 
took the canoe out to prevent its drifting away. We did 
not know but we should be compelled to spend the rest of 
the day and the night there. At any rate, the Indian went 
to sleep again in the shade of his birch, my companion 
busied himself drying his plants, and I rambled along the 
shore westward, which was quite stony, and obstructed 
with fallen bleached or drifted trees for four or five rods 
in width. I found growing on this broad rocky and 
gravelly shore the Salix rostrata, discolor, and lucida, 
Banunculus recurvatus, Potentilla Norvegica, Scutellaria 
laterijlora, Eupatorium purpureum, Aster Tradescanti, 
Mentha Canadensis, Epilobium angustifolium, abundant. 
Lycopus minatus, Solidago lanceolata, Spircea solid- 
folia, Antennaria margaraticea, Prunella, Rumex acetO' 
sella, Raspberries, Wool-grass, Onoclea, &c. The nearest 
trees were Betula papyracea and excelsa, and Populm 
tremuloides. I give these names because it was my 
farthest northern point. 

^ Our Indian said that he was a doctor, and could tell 
me some medicinal use for every plant I could show liim. 
I immediately tried him. He said that the inner bark 
of the aspen {Populus tremuloides) was good for sore 
eyes ; and so with various other plants, proving himself 
as good as his word. According to hi? account, he ha^ 


acquired such knowledge in his youth from a wise old 
Indian with whom he associated, and he lamented that 
the present generation of Indians " had lost a great deal." 

Ilti said that the caribou was a " very great runner," 
that there was none about this lake now, though there 
used to be many, and pointing to the belt of dead trees 
caused by the dams, he added, " No likum stump, — when 
be sees that he scared." 

Pointing southeasterly over the lake and distant for- 
est, he observed, " Me go Oldtown in three days." I 
asked how he would get over the swamps and fallen treesr 
" 0," said he, " in winter all covered, go anywhere on snow- 
shoes, right across lakes." When I asked how he went, 
he said, "First I go Ktaadn, west side, then I go Milli- 
nocket, then Pamadumcook, then Nickatou, then Lincoln, 
then Oldtown," or else he went a shorter way by the 
Piscataquis. What a wilderness walk for a man to take 
alone ! None of your half-mile swamps, none of your 
mile-wide woods merely, as on the skirts of our towns, 
without hotels, only a dark mountain or a lake for guide- 
board and station, over ground much of it impassable in 
summer ! 

It reminded me of Prometheus Bound. Here was 
.ravelling of the old heroic kind over the unaltered face 
of nature. From the Allegash, or Hemlock River, and 
Pongoquahem Lake, across great Apraoojenegamook, and 
leaving the Nerlumskeechticook Mountain on his left, he 
takes his way under the bear-haunted slopes of Souneunk 
and Ktaadn Mountains to Pamadumcook and Millinocket's 
inland seas, (where often gulls'-eggs may increase hisi 
btore,) and so on to the forks of the Nickatou, (ma soseb 
*we alone Joseph" seeing what our folks see,) ever 
flushing the boughs of the ur and spruce aside, with hi" 
11 r 


load of furs, contending day and night, night and day, 
with the shaggy demon vegetation, travelling through the 
mossy graveyard of trees. Or he could go by "that 
rough tooth of the sea," Kineo, great source of arrows 
and of spears to the ancients, when weapons of stone 
were used. Seeing and hearing moose, caribou, bears, 
porcupines, lynxes, wolves, and panthers. Places where 
he might live and die and never hear of the United 
States, which make such a noise in the world, — never 
hear of America, so called from the name of a European 
gent? ".man. 

There is a lumberer's road called the Eagle Lake 
yoad, from the Seboois to the east side of this lake. It 
may seem strange that any road through such a wilder- 
ness should be passable, even in winter, when the snow 
is three or four feet deep, but at that season, wherever 
lumbering operations are actively carried on, teams are 
continually passing on the single track, and it becomes as 
smooth almost as a railway. I am told that in the Aroos- 
took country the sleds are required by law to be of one 
width, (four feet,) and sleighs must be altered to fit the 
track, so that one runner may go in one rut and the other 
follow the horse. Yet it is very bad turning out. 

We had for some time seen a thunder-shower coming 
up from the west over the woods of the island, and heard 
the muttering of the thunder, though we were in doubt 
whether it would reach us ; but now the darkness rapidly 
increasing, and a fresh breeze rustling the forest, we 
hastily put up the plants which we had been drying, and 
with one consent made a rush for the tent material and 
set about pitching it. A place was selected and stakes 
and pins cut in the shortest possible time, and we were 
pinning* it down lest it should be blown away, when tin 
•iorm suddenly burst over us. 


Aji wc lay huddled together under the tent, which 
leaked considerably about the sides, with our baggage 
at our feet, we listened to some of the grandest thunder 
which I ever heard, — rapid peals, round and plump, bang, 
bang, bang, in succession, like artillery from iorae fortress 
in the sky ; and the lightning was proportionally brilliant. 
The Indian said, " It must be good powder." All for 
the benefit of the moose and us, echoing far over the 
concealed lakes. I thought it must be a place which the 
thunder loved, where the lightning practised to keep its 
hand in, and it would do no harm to shatter a few pines. 
What had become of the ephemerae and devil's-needles 
then? Were they prudent enough to seek harbor be* 
fore the storm ? Perhaps their motions might guide the 

Looking out I perceived that the violent shower falling 
on the lake had almost instantaneously flattened the 
waves, — the commander of that fortress had smoothed it 
for us so, — and it clearing off, we resolved to start imme- 
diately, before the wind raised them again. 

Going outside, I said that I saw clouds still in the 
Bouthwest, and heard thunder there. The Indian asked 
if the thunder went "lound" (round), saying that if it 
did we should have more rain. I thought that it did. 
We embarked, nevertheless, and paddled rapidly back 
toward tlie dams. The white-throated sparrows on the 
shore were about, singing, Ah te, e, e, te, e, e, te, or else 
ah te, e, e, te, e, e, te, e, e, te, e, e. 

At the outlet of Chaml«irlain Lake we were overtaken 
Vy another gusty rain-storm, which compelled us to take 
shelter, the Indian under his canoe on the bank, and we 
ran under the edge of the dam. However, we were 
more scared than wet. From ray covert I could see the 


Indian peeping out from beneath his canoe to see what 
bad become of the rain. When we had taken our respec- 
tive places thus once or twice, the rain not coming down 
in earnest, we commenced rambling about the neighbor- 
hood, for the wind had by this time raised such wavea 
on the lake that we could not stir, and we feared that we 
should be obliged to camp there. We got an early sup- 
per on the dam and tried for fish there, while waiting for 
the tumult to subside. The fishes were not only few, 
but small and worthless, and the Indian declared that 
there were no good fishes in the St. John's waters ; that 
we must wait till we got to the Penobscot waters. 

At length, just before sunset, we set out again. It 
was a wild evening when we coasted up the north side 
of this Apmoojenegamook Lake. One thunder-storm 
was just over, and the waves which it had raised still 
running with violence, and another storm was now seen 
coming up in the southwest, far over the lake; but it 
might be worse in the morning, and we wished to get as 
far as possible on our way up the lake while we might 
It blowed hard against the northern shore about an 
eighth of a mile distant on our left, and there was just as 
much sea as our shallow canoe would bear, without our 
taking unusual care. That which we kept off, and toward 
which the waves were driving, was as dreary and har- 
borless a shore as you can conceive. For half a dozen 
rods in width it was a perfect maze of submerged trees, 
all dead and bare and bleaching, some standing half their 
original height, others prostrate, and criss-across, above 
or beneath the surface, and mingled with them were loose 
trees and limbs and stumps, beating about. Imagine 
the wharves of the largest city in the world, decayed, 
%ud the earth and planking washed away, leaving the 


ipilea standing in loose order, but often of twice the ordi- 
nary height, and mingled with and beating against them 
the wreck of ten thousand navies, all their spars and tina- 
bers, while there rises from the water's edge the densest 
and grimmest wilderness, ready to supply more material 
•when the former failf, and you may get a faint idea of 
that coast. "VVe could not have landed if we would, 
without the greatest danger of being swamped ; so blow 
as it might, we must depend on coasting by it. It was 
twnlight, too, and that stormy cloud was advancing rap- 
idly in our rear. It was a pleasant excitement, yet we 
■were glad to reach, at length, in the dusk, the cleared 
shore of the Chamberlain Farm. 

We landed on a low and thinly wooded point there, 
and while my companions were pitching the tent, I ran 
up to the house to get some sugar, our six pounds being 
gone ; — it was no wonder they were, for Polis had a sweet 
tooth. He would first fill his dipper nearly a third full 
of sugar, and then add the coffee to it. Here was a 
clearing extending back from the lake to a hill-top, with 
some dark-colored log buildings and a storehouse in it, 
and half a dozen men standing in front of the principal 
hut, greedy for news. Among them was the man who 
tended the dam on the Allegash and tossed the bullet. 
He having charge of the dams, and learning that we 
were going to Webster Stream the next day, told me that 
some of their men, who were haying at Telos Lake, had 
shut the dam at the canal there in order to catch trout, 
and if we wanted more water to take us through the 
canal we might raise the gate, for he would like to have 
it raised. The Chamberlain Farm is no doubt a cheerful 
f»pening in the woods, but such was the lateness of the 
hour that it has left but a duskj impression on my mind 


As I have said, the influx of light merely is civilizing, 
yet I fanried that they walked about on Sundays in their 
clearing somewhat as in a prison-yard. 

They were unwilling to spare more than four pounds 
of brown sugar, — unlocking the storehouse to get it, — 
since they only kept a little for such cases as this, and 
they charged twenty cents a pound for it, which cer- 
tainly it was worth to get it up there. 

When I returned to the shore it was quite dark, but 
we had a rousing fire to warm and dry us by, and a snug 
apartment behind it. The Indian went up to the house 
to inquire after a brother who had been absent hunting 
a year or two, and while another shower w^as beginning, 
I groped about cutting spruce and arbor-vitae twigs for a 
bed. I preferred the arbor-vitae on account of its fra- 
grance, and spread it particularly thick about the shoul- 
ders. It is remarkable with what pure satisfaction the 
traveller in these woods will reach his camping-ground 
i)n the eve of a tempestuous night like this, as if he had 
got to his inn, and, rolling himself in his blanket, stretch 
himself on his six feet by two bed of dripping fir-twigs, 
with a thin sheet of cotton for roof, snug as a meadow- 
mouse in its nest. Invariably our best nights were those 
when it rained, for then we were not troubled with mos- 

You soon come to disregard rain on such excursions, 
at least in the summer, it is so easy to dry yourself, sup- 
posing a dry change of clothing is not to be had. You 
can much sooner dry you by such a fire as you ca:i make 
in the woods than in anybody's kitchen, the fireplace is sc 
much larger, and wood so much more abundant. A shed- 
shaped tent will catch and reflect the heat like a Yankee> 
baker, and you may be drying while you are sleeping. 


Some who have leaky roofs in the towns may have 
been kept awake, but we were soon lulled asleep by a 
steady, soaking rain, which lasted all night. To-night, the 
rain not coming at once with violence, the twigs m ere 
soon dried by the reflected heat. 

Wednesday, July 29. 

"When we awoke it had done raining, though it was 
Btill cloudy. The fire was put out, and the Indian's 
boots, which stood under the eaves of the tent, were half 
full of water. He was much more improvident in such 
respects than either of us, and he had to thank us for 
keeping his powder dry. We decided to cross the lake 
at once, before breakfast, or while we could ; and before 
starting I took the bearing of the shore which we \vished 
to strike, S. S. E. about three miles distant, lest a sud- 
den misty rain should conceal it when we were midway. 
Though the bay in which we were was perfectly quiet 
and smooth, we found the lake already wide awake 
outside, but not dangerously or unpleasantly so ; never- 
theless, when you get out on one of those lakes in a ca- 
noe like this, you do not forget that you are completely 
at the mercy of the wind, and a fickle power it is. The 
playful waves may at any time become too rude for you 
in their sport, and play right on over you. We saw a few 
she-cor-ways and a jish-hawk thus early, and after much 
steady paddling and dancing over the dark waves of 
Apmoojenegamook, we found ourseb^is in the neighbor- 
hood of the southern land, heard the waves breaking on 
it, and turned our thoughts wholly to that side. After 
coasting eastward along this shore a mile or two, we 
breakfasted on a rocky point, the first convenient place 
that offered. 

It was well enough that we crossed thus early, for the 


waves now ran quite high, and we should have been 
obliged to go round somewhat, but beyond this point wo 
had comparatively smooth water. You can commonly 
go along one side or the other of a lake, when you can- 
not crDss it. 

The Indian was looking at the hard-wood ridges from 
time to time, and said that he would like to buy a few 
hundred acres somewhere about this lake, asking our 
advice. It was to buy as near the crossing place as pos- 

My companion and I having a minute's discussion on 
some point of ancient history, were amused by the atti- 
tude which the Indian, who could not tell what we were 
talking about, assumed. He constituted himself umpire, 
and. judging by our air and gesture, he very seriously 
remarked from time to time, " you beat," or " he beat." 

Leaving a spacious bay, a northeasterly prolongation 
of Chamberlain Lake, on our left, we entered through a 
short strait into a small lake a couple of miles over, 
called on the map Telasinis, but the Indian had no dis- 
tinct name for it, and thence into Telos Lake, which he 
called Paytaywecomgomoc, or Burnt-Ground Lake. This 
curved round toward the northeast, and may have been 
three or four miles long as we paddled. He had not 
been here since 1825. He did not know what Telot' 
meant ; thought it was not Indian. He used the word 
•' Spokelogan " (for an inlet in the shore which led no- 
where), and when I asked its meaning said that there 
was " no Indian in 'em." There was a clearing, with a 
house and barn, on the southwest shore, temporarily oc- 
cupied by some men who were getting the hay, as wo. 
liad been told ; also a clearing for a pasture on a hill oo 
the west side of the lake. 


"We landed on a rocky point on the northeast side, to 
look at siwne Red Pines (Ptnus resinosa), the first we 
had noticed, and get some cones, for our few which grow 
in Concord do not bear any. 

The outlet from the lake into the East Branch of the 
Penobscot is an artificial one, and it was not very appar- 
ent where it was exactly, but the lake ran curving far 
up northeasterly into two narrow valleys or ravines, as 
if it had for a long time been groping its way toward the 
Penobscot waters, or remembered when it anciently 
flowed there ; by observing where the horizon was lowest, 
and following the longest of these, we at length reached 
the dam, having come about a dozen miles from the last 
camp. Somebody had left a line set for trout, and the 
jackknife with which the bait had been cut on the dam 
beside it, an evidence that man was near, and on a de- 
serted log close by a loaf of bread baked in a Yankee- 
baker. Tliese proved the property of a solitary hunter, 
whom we soon met, and canoe and gun and traps 
were not far off. He told us that it was twenty miles 
farther on our route to the foot of Grand Lake, where 
you could catch as many trout as you wanted, and that 
the first house below the foot of the lake, on the East 
Branch, was Hunt's, about forty-five miles farther; though 
there was one about a mile and a half up Trout stream, 
some fifteen miles ahead, but it was rather a blind route 
to it. It turned out that, though the stream was in our 
favor, we did not reach the next house till the morning 
of the third day after this. The nearest permanently in- 
habited house behind us was now a dozen miles distant, 
so that the interval between the two nearest houses on 
our route was about sixty miles. 

This hunter, who was a quite small, sunburnt man, 


having already carried his canoe over, and baked hia 
loaf, had nothing so interesting and pressing to do as to 
observe our transit. He had been out a month or more 
alone. How much more wild and adventurous his life 
than that of the hunter in Concord woods, who gets bact 
to his house and the mill-dam every night ! Yet they in 
(he towns who have wild oats to sow commonly sow them 
on cultivated and comparatively exhausted ground. And 
as for the rowdy world in the large cities, so little enter- 
prise has it that it never adventures in this direction, but 
like vermin clubs together in alleys and drinking-saloons, 
its highest accomplishment, perchance, to run beside a 
fire-engine and throw brickbats. But the former is com- 
paratively an independent and successful man, getting 
his living in a way that he likes, without disturbing 
his human neighbors. How much more respectable 
also is the life of the solitary pioneer or settler in thesci 
or any wood.-^, — having real difficulties, not of his own 
creation, drawing his subsistence directly from nature, — 
than that of the helpless multitudes in the towns who de- 
pend on gratifying the extremely artificial wants of so- 
ciety and are thrown out of employment by hard times! 

Here for the first time we found the raspberries really 
plenty, — that is, on passing the height of land between 
tho AUegash and the East Branch of the Penobscot ; 
the same was true of the blueberries. 

Telos Lake, the head of the St. John on this side, and 
Webster Pond, the head of the East Branch of the Penob- 
scot, are only about a mile apart, and they are connected 
by a ravine, in which but little digging was required to 
make the water of the former, which is the highest, flow 
into the latter. This canal, which is something less thuo 
a mile long and al)out four rods wide, was made ji few 


jrears before my first visit to Maine. Since then (be lum- 
ber of the upper Allegash and its lakes h^s been run 
down the Penobscot, that is, up the Allegash, which here 
cor-rists principally of a chain of large and stagnant 
lakes, whose thoroughfores, or river-links, have been *- 
made nearly equally stagnant by damming, and then 
down the Penobscot. The rush of the water bas pro- 
duced such changes in the canal that it has now the 
appearance of a very rapid mountain stream flowing 
through a ravine, and you would not suspect that any 
digging had been required to persuade the waters of the 
St. John to flow into the Penobscot here. It was so 
winding that one could see but little way down. 

It is stated by Springer, in his " Forest Life," that 
the cause of this canal being dug was this. According 
to the treaty of 1842 with Great Britain, it was agreed 
that all the timber run down the St. John, which rises 
in Maine, " wlien within the Province of New Bruns- 
wick .... shall be dealt with as if it were the produce 
of the said Province." which was thought by our side to 
mean that it should be free from taxation. Immediately, 
the Province, wishing to get something out of the Yan- 
kees, levied a duty on all the timber that passed down 
'he St. John ; but to satisfy its own subjects " made a 
corresponding discount on the stumpage charged those 
hauhng timber from the crown lands." The result was 
that the Yankees made the St. John run the other way, 
or down tlie Penobscot, so that the Province lost both 
its duty and its water, while the Yankees, being greatly 
enriched, had reason to thank it for the suggestion. 

It is wonderful how well wate-ed tliis country is. As 
jrou paddFe across a lake, bays will be pointed out to 
yon. by following up which, and perhap.-' the tributary 


stream which empties in, you may, after a short portage, 
or possibly, at some seasons, none at all, get into another 
river, which empties far away from the one you are on. 
Generally, you may go in any direction in a canoe, by 
making frequent but not very long portages. You are 
only realizing once more what all nature distinctly re- 
members here, for no doubt the waters flowed thus in 
a former geological period, and instead of being a lake 
country, it was an archipelago. It seems as if the more 
youthful and impressible streams can hardly resist the 
numerous invitations and temptations to leave their na- 
tive beds and run down their neighbors' channels. 
Your carries are often over half-submerged ground, on 
the dry channels of a former period. In carrying from 
one river to another, I did not go over such high and 
rocky ground as in going about the falls of the same 
river. For in the former case I was once lost in a 
swamp, as I have related, and, again, found an artificial 
canal which appeared to be natural. 

I remember once dreaming of pushing a canoe up the 
rivers of Maine, and that, when I had got so high that 
the channels were dry, I kept on through the ravines 
and gorges, nearly as well as before, by pushing a little 
harder, and now it seemed to me that my dream was 
partially realized. 

Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road 
for the canoe. The pilot of the steamer which ran from 
Oldtown up the Penobscot in 1854 told mt that she drew 
only fourteen inches, and would run easily in two feet of 
water, though they did not like to. It is said that some 
Western steamers can run on a heavy dew, whence we 
can imagine what a canoe may do. MontresofJ who waa 
Bent from Quebec by the English about 1760 to explort 


the route to the Keinebec, ovei* which Arnold after- 
ward passed, supphed the Penobscot near its source with 
water by opening the beaver-dams, and he says, " This 
is often done." He afterward states that the Governor 
of Canada had forbidden to molest the beaver about the 
outlet of the Kennebec from Moosehead Lake, on ac- 
count of the service which their dams did by raising the 
water for navigation. 

This canal, so called, was a considerable and extremely 
rapid and rocky river. The Indian decided that there 
was water enough in it without raising the dam, which 
would only make it more violent, and that he would run 
down it alone, while we carried the greater part of the 
oaggage. Our provision being about half consumed, 
there was the less left in the canoe. We had thrown 
away the pork-keg, and wrapt its contents in birch bark, 
which is the unequalled wrapping-paper of the woods. 

Following a moist trail through the forest, we reached 
the head of "Webster Pond about the same time with the 
Indian, notwithstanding the velocity with which he 
moved, our route being the most direct. The Indian 
name of Webster Stream, of which this pond is the 
source, is, according to him, Madunkchunk, i. e. Height 
of Land, and of the pond, Madunkchunk-gamooc, or 
Height of Land Pond. The latter was two or three 
miles long. We passed near a pine on its shore which 
had been splintered by lightning, perhaps the day before. 
This was the first proper East Branch Penobscot water 
that we came to. 

At the outlet of Webster Lake was another dam, at 
which we stopped and picked raspLorries, while the In- 
dian went down the stream a half-mile through the for- 
est, to see what he had got to contend with. There waa 


a deserted log camp here, apparently used the previous 
winter, with its " hovel " or barn for cattle. In the hut 
was a large fir-twig bed, raised two feet from the floor 
occupying a large part of the single apartment, a long 
narrow table against the wall, with a stout log bench be- 
fore it, and above the table a small window, the only one 
there was, which admitted a feeble light. It was a sira 
pie and strong fort erected against the cold, and suggested 
what valiant trencher work had been done there. I dis- 
covered one or two curious wooden traps, which had not 
been used for a long time, in the woods near by. The 
principal part consisted of a long and slender pole. 

We got our dinner on the shore, on the upper side of 
the dam. As we were sitting by our fire, concealed by 
the earth bank of the dam, a long line of sheldrake, 
half grown, came waddling over it from the water below, 
passing within about a rod of us, so that we could almost 
have caught them in our hands. They were very abun- 
dant on all the streams and lakes which we visited, and 
every two or three hours they would rush away in a long 
string over the water before us, twenty to fifty of them 
at once, rarely ever flying, but running with great rapid- 
ity up or down the stream, even in the midst of the most 
violent rapids, and apparently as fast up as down, or else 
crossing diagonally, the old, as it appeared, behind, and 
driving them, and flying to the front from time to time, 
as if to direct them. We also saw many small black 
dippers, which behaved in a similar manner, and, once 
or twice, a few black ducks. 

An Indian at Oldtown had told us that we should be 
obliged to carry ten miles between Telos Lake on the 
St. Jolm's and Second Lake on the East Branch of the 
I'enobi "ot ; but the lumberers whom we met assured \u 


ihat there would not be more than a mile of carry. It 
turned out that the Indian, who had lately been over 
this route, was nearest right, as far as we were concerned. 
However, if one of us could have assisted the Indian in 
managing the canoe in the rapids, Ave might have run 
the greater part of the way ; but as he was alone in thr 
management of the canoe in such places, we were cbliged 
to walk the greater part. I did not feel quite ready to 
try such an experiment on Webster Stream, which has 
so bad a reputation. According to my observation, a 
bateau, properly manned, shoots rapids as a matter of 
course, which a single Indian with a canoe carries round. 

My companion and I carried a good part of the bag- 
gage on our shoulders, while the Indian took that which 
would be least injured by wet in the canoe. "We did 
not know when we should see him again, for he had not 
been this way since the canal was cut, nor for more than 
thirty years. He agreed to stop when he got to smooth 
water, come up and find our path if he could, and halloo 
for us, and after waiting a reasonable time go on and 
try again, — and we were to look out in like manner 
for him. 

He commenced by running through the sluice-way 
and over the dam, as usual, standing up in his tossing 
canoe, and was soon out of sight behind a point in a wild 
gorge. This Webster Stream is well known to lumber- 
men as a difficult one. It is exceedingly rapid and 
rocky, and also shallow, and can hardly be considered 
Q.ivigable, unless that may mean that what is launched 
m it is sure to be carried swiftly down it, though it may 
be dashed to pieces by the way. It 's somewhat like 
navigating a thunder-spout. With commonly an irre- 
sistible forc« urging you on, you have got to cb X)sft your 


own course each moment, between the rocks and shnU 
lows, and to get into it, moving forward always with 
the utmost possible moderation, and often holding on, if 
you can, that you may inspect the rapids before you. 

By the Indian's direction we took an old path on the 
south side, which appeared to keep down the stream, 
though at a considerable distance from it, cutting off 
bends, perhaps to Second Lake, having first taken the 
course from the map with a compass, which was north- 
easterly, for safety. It was a wild wood-path, with a few 
tracks of oxen which had been driven over it, probably 
to some old camp clearing, for pasturage, mingled with 
the tracks of moose which had lately used it. We kept on 
steadily for about an hour without putting down our packs, 
occasionally winding around or climbing over a fallen tree, 
for the most part far out of sight and hearing of the riv- 
er ; till, after walking about three miles, we were glad to 
find that the path came to the river again at an old camp 
ground, where there was a small opening in the forest, 
at which we paused. Swiftly as the shallow and rocky 
river ran here, a continuous rapid with dancing waves, I 
saw, as I sat on the shore, a long string of sheldrakes, 
which something scared, run up the opposite side of the 
stream by me, with the same ease that they commonly 
did down it, just touching the surface of the waves, and 
getting an impulse from them as they flowed from under 
them ; but they soon came back, driven by the Indian, 
who had fallen a little behind us, on account of the wind- 
ings. He shot round a point just above, and came to 
.and by us with considerable water in his canoe. He 
had ibund it, as he said, " very strong water," and had 
Deen obliged to land once before to empty out what he 
had taken in. He complained that it strained him U 


paddle so hard in order to keep his canoe straight in its 
course, having no one in the bows to aid him, and, shal- 
low as it was, said that it would be no joke to upset 
there, for the force of the water was such that he had as 
lief I would strike hira over the head with a paddle as 
have that water strike him. Seeing him come out of that 
gap was as if you should pour water down an inclined 
and zigzag trough, then drop a nutshell into it, and tak- 
ing a short cut to the bottom, get there in time to see it 
come out, notwitlistanding the rush and tumult, right 
side up, and only partly full of water. 

After a moment's breathing space, while I held his ca- 
noe, he was soon out of sight again around another bend, 
ind we, shouldering our packs, resumed our course. 

We did not at once fall into our paths again, but made 
our way with difficulty along the edge of the river, till at 
length, striking inland through the forest, we recovered 
it. Before going a mile we heard the Indian calling to 
us. He had come, up through the woods and along the 
path to find us, having reached sufficiently smooth water 
to warrant his taking us in. The shore was about one 
fourth of a mile distant, through a dense, dark forest, and 
as he led us back to it, winding rapidly about to the 
right and left, I had the curiosity to look down carefully, 
and found that he was following his steps backward. I 
could only occasionally perceive his trail in the moss, 
and yet he did not appear to look down nor hesitate an 
instant, but led us out exactly to his canoe. This sur- 
prised me, for without a compass, or the sight or noise 
of the river to guide us, we could not have kept our 
course many minutes, and could have retraced our steps 
but a short distance, with a great deal of pains and very 
slowly, using a laborious circumspection. But it waa 



evident that he could go back through the forest wher 
ever he had been during the day. 

After this rough walking in the dark woods it was an 
agreeable change to glide down the rapid river in the 
canoe once more. This river, which was about the size 
of our Assabet (in Concord), though still very swift, was 
almost perfectly smooth here, and showed a very visible 
declivity, a regularly inclined plane, for several milea, 
like a mirror set a little aslant, on which we coasted 
down. This very obvious regular descent, particularly 
plain when I regarded the water-line against the shores, 
made a singular impression on me, which the swiftness 
of our motion probably enhanced, so that we seemed to 
be gliding down a much steeper declivity than we were, 
and that we could not save ourselves from rapids and 
falls if we should suddenly come to them. My compan- 
ion did not perceive this slope, but I have a surveyor's 
eyes, and I satisfied myself that it was no ocular illusion. 
You could tell at a glance on approaching such a river, 
which way the water flowed, though you might perceive 
no motion. I observed the angle at which a level line 
would strike the surface, and calculated the amount of 
fall in a rod, whicli did not need to be remai'kably great 
to produce this effect. 

It was very exhilarating, and the perfection of trav- 
elling, quite unlike floating on our dead Concord River, 
the coasting down this inclined mirror, which was now 
and then gently winding, down a mountain, indeed, be- 
tween two evergreen forests, edged with lofty dead 
white pines, sometimes slanted half-way over the stream, 
and destined ■ soon to bridge it. I saw some monsters 
there, nearly destitute of branches, and scarcely dimin 
ishing in diameter for eighty or ninety feet. 


As we thus swept along, our Indian repeated in a 
deliberate and drawling tone the words " Daniel Webster, 
great lawyer," apparently reminded of him by the name 
of the stream, and he described his calling on him once 
in Boston, at what he supposed was his boarding-house. 
lie had no business with him, but merely went to pay 
his respects, as we should say. In answer to our ques- 
tions, he described his person well enough. It was on 
the day after Webster delivered his Bunker Hill oration, 
which I beUeve Polls heard. The first time he called 
he waited till he was tired without seeing him, and then 
went away. The next time, he saw liim go by the door 
of the room in which he was waiting several times, in 
his shirt-sleeves, without noticing him. He thought that 
if he had come to see Indians, they would not have treated 
him so. At length, after very long 'delay, he came in, 
walked toward him, and asked in a loud voice, gruffly, 
" What do you want ? " and he, thinking at first, by the 
motion of his hand, that he was going to strike him, said 
to himself, "You'd better take care, if you try that I 
shall know what to do." He did not like him, and de- 
clared that all he said "was not worth talk about a 
musquash." We suggested tliat probably Mr. Webster 
was very busy, and had a great many visitors just then. 

Coming to falls and rapids, our easy progress was sud- 
denly terminated. The Indian went along shore to in- 
spect the water, while we climbed over the rocks, picking 
berries. The peculiar growth of blueberries on the tops 
of large rocks here made the impression of high land, 
and indeed this was the Height-of-land stream. When 
the Indian came back, he remarked, " You got to walk ; 
ver strong water." So, taking out his canoe, he launched 
't again below the falls, and was soon out o'" e;ght. At 


Buch times, he would step into the canoe, take up bi^ 
paddle, and, with an air of mystery, start off, looking far 
down stream, and keeping his own counsel, as if absorb- 
ing all the intelligence of forest and stream into himself; 
but I sometimes detected a little fun in his face, which 
could yield to my sympathetic smile, for he was thor- 
oughly good-humored. We meanwhile scrambled along 
the shore with our packs, without any path. This was 
the last of our boating for the day. 

The prevailing rock here was a kind of slate, standing 
on its edges, and my companion, who was recently from 
California, thought it exactly like that in which the gold 
is found, and said that if he had had a pan he would have 
liked to wash a little of the sand here. 

The Indian now got along much faster than we, and 
waited for us from time to time. I found here the only 
cool spring that I drank at anywhere on this excursion, 
•A little water filling a hollow in the sandy bank. It was 
a quite memorable event, and due to the elevation of the 
country, for wherever else we had been the water in the 
rivers and the streams emptying in was dead and warm, 
compared with that of a mountainous region. It was 
very bad walking along the shore over fallen and drifted 
trees and bushes, and rocks, from time to time swinging 
ourselves round over the water, or else taking to a grave) 
bar or going inland. At one place, the Indian being 
ahead, I was obliged to take off all my clothes in order 
to ford a small but deep stream emptying in, while my 
companion, who was inland, found a rude bridge, high up 
in the woods, and I saw no more of him for some time. 
T saw there very fresh moose tracks, found a new golden- 
rod to me (perhaps Solidago thyrsoidea), and I passed 
une white-pine log, which liad lodged, in the forest nea/ 


Ihe edge of the stream^ which was quite five feet in 
diameter at the but. Probably its size detained it. 

Shortly after this, I overtook the Indian at the edge of 
some burnt land, which extended three or four miles at 
least, beginning about three miles above Second Lake, 
which we were expecting to reach that night, and which 
is about ten miles from Telos Lake. This burnt region 
was still more rocky than before, but, though compara- 
tively open, we could not yet see the lake. Not having 
Been my companion for some time, I climbed, with the 
Lidian, a singular high rock on the edge of the river, 
forming a narrow ridge only a foot or two wide at top, in 
order to look for him ; and after calling many times, I at 
length heard him answer from a considerable distance in- 
land, he having taken a trail which led off from the river, 
perhaps directly to the lake, and was now in search of the 
river again. Seeing a much higher rock, of the same 
character, about one third of a mile farther east, or down 
stream, I proceeded toward it, through the burnt land, in 
order to look for the lake from its summit, supposing that 
the Indian would keep down the stream in his canoe, and 
hallooing all the while that my companion might join me 
on the way. Before we came together, I noticed where 
a moose, which possibly I had scared by my shouting, 
bad apparently just run along a large rotten trunk of a 
pine, which made a bridge, thirty or forty feet long, over 
a hollow, as convenient for him as for me. The tracks 
were as large as those of an ox, but an ox could not have 
crossed there. This burnt land was an exceedingly wild 
and desolate region. Judging by the weeds and sprouts, 
it appeared t© have been burnt about two years before. 
It was covered with charied trunks, either prostrate or 
itanding, which crocked our clothes and bands, and we 


eould not easily have distinguished a bear there by his 
color. Great shells of trees, sometimes unburnt without, 
or burnt on one side only, but black within, stood twenty 
or forty feet high. The fire had run up inside, as in a 
chimney, leaving the sap-wocd. Sometimes we crossed 
a rocky ravine fifty feet wide, on a fallen trunk ; and there 
were great fields of fire-weed {Epilohium angustifolium) 
on all sides, the most extensive that I ever saw, which 
presented great masses of pink. Intermixed with these 
were blueberry and raspberry bushes. 

Having crossed a second rocky ridge, like the first, 
when I was beginning to ascend the third, the Indian, 
whom I had left on the shore some fifty rods behind, 
beckoned to me to come to him, but I made sign that I 
would first ascend the highest rock before me, whence I 
expected to see the lake. My companion accompanied 
me to the top. This was formed just like the others. 
Being struck with the perfect parallelism of these sin- 
gular rock-hills, however much one might be in advance 
of another, I took out my compass and found that they 
lay northwest and southeast, the rock being on its edge, 
and sharp edges they were. This one, to speak from 
memory, was perhaps a third of a mile in length, but 
quite narrow, rising gradually from the northwest to the 
height of about eighty feet, but steep on the southeast 
end. The southwest side was as steep as an ordinary 
roof, or as we could safely climb ; the northeast was an 
abrupt precipice from which you could jump clean to the 
bottom, near which the river flowed^ while the level top 
if the ridge, on which you walked along, was only from 
one to three or four feet in width. For a rude illustra 
lion, take the half of a pear cut in two lengthwise, lay it 
on ita flat side, the stem to the northwest, and then halve 


It vertically in the direction of its length, keeping the 
southwest half, iiuch was the general form. 

There was a remarkable series of these great rock- 
waves revealed by the burning ; breakers, as it were. No 
wonder that the river that found its way through them 
was rapid and obstructed by falls. No doubt the absence 
of soil on these rocks, or its dryness where there was any, 
caused this to be a very thorough burning. We could 
Bee the lake over the woods, two or three miles ahead, 
and that the river made an abrupt turn southward around 
the northwest end of the cliff on which we stood, or a 
little above us, so that we had cut off a bend, and that 
there was an important fall in it a short distance below 
us. I could see the canoe a hundred rods behind, but 
now on the opposite shore, and supposed that the Indian 
had concluded to take out and carry round some bad 
rapids on that side, and that that might be what he had 
beckoned to me for; but after waiting a while I could still 
see nothing of him, and I observed to my companion that 
I wondered where he was, though I began to suspect 
that he had gone inland to look for the lake from some 
hill-top on that side, as we had done. This proved to be 
the case ; for after I had started to return to the canoe, 
I heard a faint halloo, and descried him on the top of a 
distant rocky hill on that side. But as, after a long time 
uad elapsed, I still saw his canor in the same place, and 
he had not returned to it, and appeared in no hurry to do 
60, and, moreover, as I remembered that he had previ- 
ously beckoned to me, I thought that there might be 
Bomething more to delay him than I knew, and began to 
•eturn northwest, along the ridge, toward the angle id river. My companion, who had just been separated 
from us, and had even contemplated the necessity of 


camping alone, wishing to husband his steps, and yet 
to keep with us, inquired where I was going ; to which I 
answered, that I was going far enough back to communi- 
cate with the Indian, and that then I thought we had bet- 
ter go along the shore together, and keep him in sight. 

When we reached the shore, the Indian appeared from 
out the woods on the opposite side, but on account of the 
roar of the water it was difficult to communicate with 
him. He kept along the shore westward to his canoe, 
while we stopped at the angle where the stream turned 
southward around the precipice. I again said to my 
companion, that we would keep along the shore and 
keep the Indian in sight. We started to do so, being 
close together, the Indian behind us having launched 
his canoe again, but just then I saw the latter, who had 
crossed to our side, forty or fifty rods behind, beckoning 
to me, and I called to my companion, who had just dis- 
appeared behind large rocks at the point of the precipice, 
three or four rods before me, on his way down the stream, 
that I was going to help the Indian a moment. I did so, 
— helped get the canoe over a fall, lying with my breast 
over a rock, and holding one end while he received it 
below, — and within ten or fifteen minutes at most I was 
back again at the point where the river turned south- 
ward, in order to catch up with my companion, while 
Polls glided down the river alone, parallel with me. Bui 
to my surprise, when I rounded the precipice, though the 
fehore was bare of trees, without rocks, for a quarter of a 
mile at least, my companion was not to be seen. It was 
as if he had sunk into the earth. This was the more un- 
accountable to me, because I knew that his feet were 
pince our swamp walk very sore, and that he wished tc 
keep with the party ; and besides this was very bad walk 


Ing, climbing over or about the rocks. I hastened along, 
hallooing and searching for him, thinking he might be 
concealed behind a rock, yet doubting if he had not taken 
the other (;ide of the precipice, but the Indian had got 
along still fester in his canoe, till he was arrested by the 
falls, about a quarter of a mile below. He then landed, 
and said that we could go no farther that night. The 
tun was setting, and on account of falls and rapids we 
should be obliged to leave this river and carry a good 
way into another farther east. The first thing then was 
to find my companion, for I was now very much alarmed 
about him, and I sent the Indian along the shore down 
stream, wiiicli began to be covered with unburnt wood 
again just below the falls, while I searched backward 
about the precipice which we had passed. The Indian 
showed some unwillingness to exert himself, complaining 
that he was very tired, in consequence of his day's work, 
that it had strained him very much getting down so 
many rapids alone; but he went off calling somewhat like 
an owl. I remembered that my companion was near- 
sighted, and I feared that he had either fallen from the 
precipice, or fainted and sunk down amid the rocks be- 
neath it. I shouted and searched above and below this 
precipice in the twilight till I could not see, expecting 
nothing less than to find his body beneath it. For half 
an hour I anticipated and believed only the worst. I 
thought what I should do the next day, i^ I did not 
find him, what I could do in such a wilderness, and how 
bis relatives would feel, if I should return without him. 
1 felt that if he were really lost away ^rom the river 
there, it would be a desperate undertaking to find him; 
and where were they who could help you ? "What would 
it be to raise the country, where there were criy two 


or three camps, twenty or thirty miles apart, and no 
road, and perhaps nobody at home ? Yet we must try 
the harder, the less the prospect of success. 

I rushed down from this precipice to the canoe in 
irdvjr to fire the Indian's gun, but fcund that my com- 
panion had the caps. I was still thiuking of getting it. 
off when the Indian returned. He had not found him, 
but he said that he had seen his tracks once or twice 
along the shore. This encouraged me very much. He 
objected to firing the gun, saying that if my companion 
heard it, which was not likely, on account of the roar of 
the stream, it would tempt him to come toward us, and 
he might break his neck in the dark. For the same rea- 
son we refrained from lighting a fire on the highest rock. 
I proposed that we should both keep down the stream to 
the lake, or that I should go at any rate, but the Indian 
said, " No use, can't do anything in the dark ; come morn- 
ing, then we find 'em. No harm, — he make 'em camp. 
No bad animals here, no gristly bears, such as in Califor- 
nia, where he's been, — warm night, — he well off as 
you and I." I considered that if he was well he could do 
without us. He had just lived eight years in California, 
and had plenty of experience with wild beasts and wilder 
men, was peculiarly accustomed to make journeys of 
great length, but if he were sick or dead, he was near 
where we were. The darkness in the woods was by this so 
thick that it alone decided the question. We must camp 
where we were. I knew that he had his knapsack, with 
blankets and matches, and, if well, would fare no worse 
than we, except that he would have no supper nor society. 

This side of the river being so encumbered with rocks, 
we crossed to the eastern or smoother shore, and jiro- 
cecded to camj> there, within two or three rods of tbt 


Falls. We pitched no tent, bul lay on the sand, putting 
a few handfuls of grass and twigs under us, thero, being 
no evergreen at hand. For fuel we had some of the 
charred stumps. Our various bags of provisions had got 
quite wet in the rapids, and I arranged them about the 
fire to dry. The fall close by was the principal one on 
this stream, and it shook the ea:'th under us. It was a 
cool, because dewy, night ; the more so, probably, owing 
to the nearness of the falls. The Indian complained a 
good deal, and thought afterward that he got a cold there 
which occasioned a more serious illness. We were not 
much troubled by mosquitoes at any rate. I lay awake a 
good deal from anxiety, but, unaccountably to myself, was 
at length comparatively at ease respecting him. At first 
I had apprehended the worst, but now I had little doubi 
but that I should find him in the morning. From time 
to time I fancied that I heard his voice calling through 
the roar of the falls from the opposite side of the river ; 
but it is doubtful if we could have heard him across the 
stream there. Sometimes I doubted whether the Indian 
had really seen his tracks, since he manifested an un- 
willingness to make much of a search, and then my anx- 
iety returned. 

It was the most wild and desolate region we had 
camped in, where, if aijjywhere, one might expect to meet 
with befitting inhabitants, but I heard only the squeak of 
a night-hawk fiitting over. The moon in her first quar- 
ter, in the fore part of the night, setting over the bare 
rocky hills, garnished with tall, charred, and hollow stumiis 
or shells of trees, served to reveai the desolation. 

Thursday, July 30. 
I aroused the Indian early th'.- morning to go in search 


of our companion, expecting to find him within a mile of 
two, farther down the stream. The Indian wanted his 
breakfast first, but I reminded him that my companion 
had had neither breakfast nor supper. We were obliged 
first to carry our canoe and baggage over into another 
stream, the main East Branch, about three fourths of a 
mile distant, for Webster Stream was no farther navi- 
gable. We went twice over this carry, and the dewy 
bushes wet us through like water up to the middle ; I 
hallooed in a high key from time to time, though I had 
little expectation that I could be heard over the roar of 
the rapids, and moreover we were necessarily on the 
opposite side of the stream to him. In going over this 
portage the last time, the Indian, who was before me 
with the canoe on his head, stumbled and fell heavily 
once, and lay for a moment silent, as if in pain. I hastily 
stepped forward to help him, asking if he was much hurt, 
but after a moment's pause, without replying, he sprang 
up and went forward. He was all the way subject to 
taciturn fits, but they were harmless ones. 

We had launched our canoe and gone but little way 
down the East Branch, when I heard an answering shout 
from my companion, and soon after saw him standing on 
a point where there was a clearing a quarter of a mile 
below, and the smoke of his fire was rising near by. 
Before I saw him I naturally shouted again and again, 
but the Indian curtly remarked, " He hears you," as if 
once was enough. It was just below the mouth of 
Webster Stream. When we arrived, he was smoking his 
pipe, and said that he had passed a pretty comfortable 
night, though it was rather cold, on account of the dew. 

It appeared that when we stood together the previous 
evei ing, and I was shouting to the Indian across th« 


river, he, being near-sighted, had not seen the Indian nor 
his canoe, and when I went back to the Indian's assist- 
ance, did not see which way I went, and supposed that 
we were below and not above him, and so, making haste 
to catch up, he ran away from us. Having reached this 
clearing, a mile or more below our camp, the night over- 
took him, and he made a fire in a little hollow, and lay 
down by it in his blanket, still thinking that we were 
ahead of him. He thought it likely that he had heard 
the Indian call once the evening before, but mistook it for 
an owl. He had seen one botanical rarity before it was 
dark, — pure white Epilohium angustifolium amidst the 
fields of pink ones, in the burnt lands. He had already 
stuck up the remnant of a lumberei''s shirt, found on the 
point, on a pole by the water-side, for a signal, and 
attached a note to it, to inform us that he had gone on 
to the lake, and that if he did not find us there, he would 
be back in a couple of hours. If he had not found us 
soon, he had some thoughts of going back in search of 
the solitary hunter whom we had met at Telos Lake, ten 
miles behind, and, if successful, hire him to take him to 
Bangor. But if this hunter had moved as fast as we, 
he would have been twenty miles oflf by this time, and 
who could guess in what direction ? It would have been 
like looking for a needle in a hay-mow, to search for 
him in these woods. He had been considering how long 
he could live on berries alone. 

We substituted for his note a card containing our 
•lames and destination, and the date of our visit, which 
Polis neatly enclosed in a piece of birch-bark to keep it 
iry. This has probably been read by some hunter or 
explorer ere this. 

Wa all had good appetites for the breakfast w'nich we 


made haste to cook here, and then, having partially 
dried our clothes, we glided swiftly down the winding 
stream toward Second Lake. 

As the shores became flatter with frequent gravel and 
sand bars, and the stream more winding in the lower 
Jand near the lake, elms and ash trees made their ap- 
pearance ; also the wild yellow lily (Lilium Canadense), 
some of whose bulbs I collected for a soup. On some 
ridges the burnt land extended as far as the lake. This 
was a very beautiful lake, two or three miles long, with 
high mountains on the southwest side, the (as our Indian 
said) Nerlumskeechticooh, i. e. Dead-Water Mountain. 
It appears to be the same called Carbuncle Mountain on 
the map. According to Polls, it extends in separate ele- 
vations all along this and the next lake, which is much 
largep. The lake, too, I think, is called by the same 
name, or perhaps with the addition of gatnoc or mooc. 
The morning was a bright one, and perfectly still and 
serene, the lake as smooth as glass, we making the 
only ripple as we paddled into it. The dark mountains 
about it were seen through a glaucous mist, and the 
brilliant white stems of canoe-birches mingled with the 
other woods around it. The wood-thrush sang on the 
distant shore, and the laugh of some loons, sporting in a 
concealed western bay, as if inspired by the morning, 
lame distinct over the lake to us, and, what was remark- 
able, the echo which ran round the lake was much louder 
than the original note ; probably because, the loon being 
in a regularly curving bay under the mountain, we were 
exactly in the focus of many echoes, the sound being 
reflected like light from a concave mirror. Tlie beauty 
of the scene may have been enhanced to our eyes by thf 
^t that we had just come together again after a nighj 


i»f some anxiety. This reminded me of the Ambejijia 
Lake on the West Branch, which I crossed in my first 
coming tc Maine. Having paddled down three quarters 
of the lake, we came to a stand still, while my companion 
let down for fish. A white (or whitish) gull sat on a 
rock which rose above the surface in mid-lake not far ott", 
quite in harmony with the scene ; and as we rested there 
in the warm sun, we heard one loud crushing or crack- 
ling sound from the forest, forty or fifty rods distant, as of 
a stick broken by the foot of some large animal. Even 
this was an interesting incident there. In the midst of 
our dreams of giant lake-trout, even then supposed to 
be nibbling, our fisherman drew up a diminutive red 
perch, and we took up our paddles again in haste. 

It was not apparent where the outlet of this lake was, 
and while the Indian thought it was in one direction, I 
thought it was in another. • He said, " I bet you four- 
pence it is there," but he still held on in my direction, 
which proved to be the right one. As we were approach- 
ing the outlet, it being still early in the forenoon, he sud- 
denly exclaimed, " Moose ! moose ! " and told us to be 
still. He put a cap on his gun, and standing up in the 
stern, rapidly pushed the canoe straight toward the shore 
and the moose. It was a cow-moose, about thirty rods 
off, standing in the water by the side of the outlet, partly 
behind some fallen timber and bushes, and at that dis- 
tance she did not look very large. She was flapping her 
large ears, and from time to time poking off the flies with 
her nose from some part of her body. She did not ap- 
pear much alarmed by our neigl borhood, only occasion- 
ally turned her head and looked straight at us, and then 
gave her attention to the flies again. As we approached 
nearer, she got out of the water, stood higher and re« 


garded us more suspiciously. Polis pushed the caacw 
steadily forward in the shallow water, and I for a mo- 
ment forgot the moose in attending to some pretty rose* 
colored Polygonums just rising above the surface, but the 
canoe soon grounded in the mud eight or ten rods dis- 
tant from the moose, and the Indian seized his gun and 
prepared to fire. After standing still a moment, she 
turned slowly, as usual, so as to expose her side, and he 
improved this moment to fire, over our heads. She 
thereupon moved off eight or ten rods at a moderate 
pace, across a shallow bay, to an old standing-place of 
hers, behind some fallen red maples, on the opposite 
shore, and there she stood still again a dozen or fourteen 
rods from us, while the Indian hastily loaded and fired 
twice at her, without her moving. My companion, who 
passed him his caps and bullets, said that Polis was as 
excited as a boy of fifteen, that his hand trembled, and 
he once put his ramrod back up-side down. This was 
remarkable for so experienced a hunter. Perhaps he 
was anxious to make a good shot before us. The white 
hunter had told me that the Indians were not good shots, 
because they were excited, though he said that we had 
got a good hunter with us. 

The Indian now pushed quickly and quietly back, and 
a long distance round, in order to get into the outlet, — 
for he had fired over the neck of a peninsula between it 
and the lake, — till we approached the place where the 
moose had stood, when he exclaimed, " She is a goner," 
and was surprised that we did not see her as soon as he 
did. There, to be sure, she lay perfectly dead, with her 
longue hanging out, just where she had stood to receive 
the last shots, looking unexpectedly large and horse-like 
and we saw where the bullets had scarred the trees. 


Using a tape, I found that the rnoose measured just 
six feet from the slioulder to the tip of the hoof, and 
was eight feet long as she lay. Some portions of the 
body, for a foot in diameter, were almost covered with 
flies, apparently the common fly of our woods, with a 
dark spot on the wing, and not the very large ones 
■which occasionally pursued us in mid-stream, though both 
are called moose-flie? 

Polls, preparing, to skin the moose, asked me to help 
him find a stone on which to sharpen his large knife It 
being all a flat alluvial ground where the moose had 
fallen, covered with red maples, &c., this was no easy 
matter; we searched far and wide, a long time, till at 
length I found a flat kind of slate-stone, and soon after 
he returned with a similar one, on which he soon made 
his knife very sharp. 

While he was skinning the moose, I proceeded to 
ascertain what kind of fishes were to be found in the 
sluggish and muddy outlet. The greatest difficulty was 
to find a pole. It was almost impossible to find a slender, 
straight pole fen or twelve feet long in those woods. 
You might search half an hour in vain. They are 
commonly spruce, arbor-vitae, fir, &c., short, stout, and 
branchy, and do not make good fish-poles, even after you 
have patiently cut off all their tough and scraggy 
branches. The fishes were red perch and chivin. 

The Indian having cut off a large piece of sirloin, tho 
ipper lip and the tongue, wrapped them in the hide, and 
placed them in the bottom of the canoe, observing that 
there was " one man," meaning the weight of one. Our 
lo?\d had previously been reduced some thirty pounds, 
but a hundred pounds were now added, a serious addi- 
Uon, which made our quarters still more narrow, and 
12* K 


cjonsiderably increased the danger on the lakes and rap* 
ids, as well as the labor of the carries. The skin was 
ours according to custom, since the Indian was in our 
employ, but we did not think of claiming it. He being 
a skilful dresser of moose-hides, would make it worth 
seven or eight dollars to him, as I was told. He said 
that he sometimes earned fifty or sixty dollars in a day at 
them ; he had killed ten moose in one day, though the 
skinning and all took two days. This was the way ho 
had got his property. There were the track n of a calf 
thereabouts, which he said would come " by, by," and he 
could get it if we cared to wait, but I cast cold water on 
the project. 

"We continued along the outlet toward Grand Lake, 
through a swampy region, by a long, winding, and nar- 
row dead water, very much choked up by wood, where 
we were obliged to land sometimes in order to get the 
canoe over a log. It was hard to find any channel, and 
we did not know but we should be lost in the swamp. It 
abounded in ducks, as usual. At length we reached 
Grand Lake, which the Indian called Matungamooh. 

At the head of this we saw, coming in from the south- 
west, with a sweep apparently from a gorge in the moun- 
tains. Trout Stream, or Uncardnerheese, which name, the 
Indian said, had something to do with mountains. 

We stopped to dine on an interesting high rockj 
island, soon after entering Matungampok Lake, securing 
our canoe to the cliffy shore. It is always pleasant to 
step from a boat on to a large rock or cliff. Here was 
a good opportunity to dry our dewy blankets on the open 
sunny rock. Indians had recently camped here, and ac- 
cidentally burned over the western end of the island, and 
Polis picked up a gun-c^ase of blue broadcloth, and sait! 


Ihat he knew the Indian it belonged to, and would carry 
it to him. His tribe is not so large but he may know 
all its effects. "We proceeded to make a fire and cook 
our dinner amid some pines, where our predecessors had 
done the same, while the Indian busied himself about 
his moose-hide on the shore, for he said that he thouji;ht 
it a good plan for one to do all the cooking, i. e. I sup- 
pose if that one were not himself. A peculiar ever- 
green overhung our fire, which at first glance looked like 
a pitch pine (P. rigida), with leaves little more than an 
inch long, spruce-like, but we found it to be the Pinus 
BanJcsiana, — " Banks's, or the Labrador Pine," also called 
Scrub Pine, Gray Pine, &c., a new tree to us. These 
must have been good specimens, for several were thirty 
or thirty-five feet high. Richardson found it forty feet 
high and upward, and states that the porcupine feeds on 
its bark. Here also grew the Red Pine (Piniis resinosa). 
I saw where the Indians had made canoes in a little 
secluded hollow in the woods, on the top of the rock, 
where they were out of the wind, and large piles of 
whittlings remained. This must have been a favorite re- 
sort for their ancestors, and, indeed, we found here the 
point of an arrow-head, such as they have not used for 
two centuries and now know not how to make. The 
Indian, picking up a stone, remarked to me, " That very 
strange lock (rock)." It was a piece of hornstone, which 
I told him his tribe had probably brought here centuries 
before to make arrow-heads of. He also picked up a 
yellowish curved bone by the side of our fireplace and 
asked me to guess what it was. It was one of the upper 
incisors of a beaver, on which soro'^ party had feasted 
within a year or two. I found also most of the teeth, 
•nd the skull, &c. We liert dined on fried moose-meat 


One who was my companion in my two previous ex- 
cursions to these woods, tells me that when hunting up 
the Caucoragomoc, about two years ago, he found him- 
self dining one day on moose-meat, mud-turtle, trout, and 
beaver, and he thought that there were few places in the 
world where these dishes could easily be brought together 
on one table. 

After the almost incessant rapids and falls of the Ma- 
dunkchunk (Height-of-Land, or Webster Stream), we 
had just passed through the dead-water of Second Lake, 
and were now in the much larger dead-water of Grand 
Lake, and I thought the Indian was entitled to take an 
extra nap here. Ktaadn, near which we were to pass 
-^ the next day, is said to mean " Highest Land." So much 
geography is there in their names. The Indian naviga- 
tor naturally distinguishes by a name those parts of a 
stream where he has encountered quick water and forks, 
and again, the lakes and smooth water where he can rest 
his weary arms, since those are the most interesting and 
more arable parts to him. The very sight of the We?*- 
lumskeechticook, or Dead- Water Mountains, a day's jour- 
ney off over the forest, as we first saw them, must awaken 
in him pleasing memories. And not less interesting is it 
to the white traveller, when he is crossing a placid lake 
in these out-of-the-way woods, perhaps thinking that he 
is in some sense one of the earlier discoverers of it, to be 
reminded that it was thus well known and suitably 
named by Indian hunters perhaps a thousand years 

Ascending the precipitous rod. which formed this long 
narrow island, I was surprised to find that its summit was 
a narrow ridge, with a precipice on one side, and that its 
axis of elevation extended from northwest to southeast 


exactly like that of the great rocky ridge at the com- 
raenccraent of the Burnt Ground, ten miles northwesterly. 
The same arrangement prevailed here, and we could 
plainly see that the mountain ridges on the west of the 
lake trended the same way. Splendid large harebells 
nodded over the edge and in the clefts of the cliff, and 
.he blueberries ( Vaccinium Canadense) were for the 
fir.>t time really abundant in the thin soil on its top. 
There was no lack of them henceforward on the East 
Branch. There was a fine view hence over the spark- 
ling lake, which looked pure and deep, and had two or 
three, in all, rocky islands in it. Our blankets being dry, 
we set out again, the Indian as usual having left his 
gazette on a tree. This time it was we three in a canoe, 
my companion smoking. We paddled southward down 
this handsome lake, which appeared to extend nearly as 
far east as south, keeping near the western shore, just 
outside a small island, under the dark Nerhimskeechti- 
cook mountain. For I had observed on my map that 
this was the course. It was three or four miles across it. 
It struck me that the outline of this mountain on the 
southwest of the lake, and of another beyond it, was not 
only like that of the huge rock waves of Webster Stream, 
but in the main like Kineo, on IMoosehcad Lake, having 
a similar but less abrupt precipice at the southeast end ; 
in short, that all the prominent hills and ridges here- 
abouts were larger or smaller Kineos, and that possibly 
there was such a relation between Kineo and the rocks of 
Webster Stream. 

The Indian did not know exactly where the cutlet 
was, whether at the extreme ooufhwest angle or more 
«asterly, and had asked to see my plan at the last stop- 
ping-place, but I Iiad forgotten to show it to him. Aa 


usual, he went feeling his way by a middle course be- 
tween two probable points, from which he could diverge 
either way at last without losing much distance. In ap- 
proaching the south shore, as the clouds looked gusty, 
and the waves ran pretty high, we so steered as to get 
partly under the lee of an island, though at a great dis- 
tance from it. 

I could not distinguish the outlet till we were almost 
ii! it, and heard the water falling over the dam there. 

Here was a considerable fall, and a very substantial 
dam, but no sign of a cabin or camp. The hunter whom 
we met at Telos Lake had told us that there were plenty 
of trout here, but at this hour they did not rise to the 
bait, only cousin trout, from the very midst of the rush- 
ing waters. There are not so many fishes in these rivers 
as in the Concord. 

While we loitered here, Polis took occasion to cut with 
his big knife some of the hair from his moose-hide, and 
so lightened and prepared it for drying. I noticed at 
several old Indian camps in the woods the pile of hair 
which they had cut from their hides. 

Having carried over the dam, he darted down the rap- 
ids, leaving us to walk for a mile or more, where for ths 
most part there was no path, but very thick and difficult 
travelling near the stream. At length he would call to 
let us know where he was waiting for us with his canoe, 
when, on account of the windings of the stream, we did 
not know where the shore was, but he did not call often 
enough, forgetting that we were not Indians. He seemed 
to be very saving of his breath, — yet he would be sur- 
prised if we went by, or did not strike the right spot. 
Tiiis was not because he was unaccommodating, but a 
proof of superior manners. Indians like to get along 


with the least possible communication and ado. Ho 
was really paying us a great compliment all the whilei 
thinking that we preferred a hint to a kick. 

At length, climbing over the willows and fallen trees, 
when this was easier than to go round or under them, we 
overtook the canoe, and glided down the stream in smooth 
but swift water for several miles. I here observed again, 
as at Webster Stream, and on a still larger scale the next 
day, that the river was a smooth and regularly inclined 
plane down which we coasted. As we thus glided along 
we started the first black ducks which we had distin- 

We decided to camp early to-night, that we might have 
ample time before dark ; so we stopped at the first favor- 
able shore, where there was a narrow gravelly beach on 
the western side, some five miles below the outlet of the 
lake. It wa^i an interesting spot, where the river began 
to make a great bend to the east, and the last of the pecu- 
liar moose-faced Nerlumskeechticook mountains not far 
southwest of Grand Lake rose dark in the northwest a 
short distance behind, displaying its gray precipitous 
southeast side, but we could not see this without coming 
out upon the shore. 

Two steps from the water on either side, and you 
come to the abrupt bushy and rooty if not turfy edge 
of the bank, four or five feet high, where the intermina- 
ble forest begins, as if the stream had but just cut its 
way through it. 

It is surprising on stepping ashore anywhere into this 
unbroken wilderness to see so often, at least within a 
few r>>ds of the river, the marks of tlie axe, made by 
lumbeiers who have either camped here, or driven logs 
past in previous springs. You will see perchance where, 


going on the same errand that you do, they have cut 
large chips from a tall white-pine stump for their fire. 
While we were pitching the camp and getting supper, 
the Indian cut the rest of the hair from his moose-hide, 
and proceeded to extend it vertically on a temporary 
frame between two small trees, half a dozen feet from the 
opposite side of the fire, lashing and stretching it with 
arbor-vitgc bark, which was always at hand, and in this 
case was stripped from one of the trees it was tied to. 
Asking for a new kind of tea, he made us some, pretty 
good, of the checkerberry (^Gaultheria procmnbens), 
which covered the ground, dropping a little bunch of it 
tied up with cedar bark into the kettle ; but it was not 
quite equal to the Chiogefies. We called this therefore 
Checkerberry-tea Camp. 

I was struck with the abundance of the Linncea bore- 
alis, checkerberry, and Chiogenes hispidula, almost every- 
where in the Maine woods. The wintergreen (Chima- 
phila umbellala) was still in bloom here, and Clintonia 
berries were abundant and ripe. This handsome plant 
is one of the most common in that forest. We here first 
noticed the moose-wood in fruit on the banks. The pre- 
vailing trees were spruce (commonly black), arbor-vitfc, 
canoe-birch, (black ash and elms beginning to appear,) 
yellow birch, red maple, and a little hemlock skulking in 
the foiest. The Indian said that the white-maple punk 
was the best for tinder, that yellow-birch punk was pretty 
good, but hard. After supper he put on the moose tongue 
and lips to boil, cutting out the septum. He showed m«. 
bow to write on the under side of birch bark, with a 
black spruce twig, which is hard and tough and can be 
brought to a point. 

The Indian wandered oflT into the woods a short di* 


tance just before night, and, coming back, said, " Me found 
great treasure — fifty, sixty dollars worth." " What 'a 
that ? " we asked. " Steel traps, under a log, thirty or 
forty, I did n't count em. I guess Indian work — worth 
three dollars apiece." It was a singular coincidence that 
he should have chanced to walk to and look under that 
particular log, in that trackless forest. 

I saw chivin and chub in the stream when washing 
my hands, but my companion tried in vain to catch them. 
I also heard the sound of bull-frogs from a swamp on the 
opposite side, thinking at first that they were moose ; a 
duck paddled swiftly by ; and sitting in that dusky wilder- 
ness, under that dark mountain, by the bright river which 
was full of reflected light, still I heard the wood-thrush 
sing, as if no higher civilization could be attained. By 
this time the night was upon us. 

You commonly make your camp just at sundown, and 
are collecting wood, getting your supper, or pitching your 
tent while the shades of night are gathering around and 
adding to the already dense gloom of the forest. Ycu 
have no time to explore or look around you before it is 
dark. You may penetrate half a dozen rods farther into 
that twilight wilderness, after some dry bark to kindle 
your fire with, and wonder what mysteries lie hidden still 
deeper in it, say at the end of a long day's walk ; or 
you may run down to the shore for a dipper of water, and 
get a clearer view for a short distance up or down tl e 
stream, and while you stand there, see a fish leap, or duck 
alight in the river, or hear a wood-thrush or robin sing 
in the woods. That is as if you had been to town or 
civilized pai-ts. But there is no sauntering off to see 
the country, and ten or fifteen rods seems a great way 
from your companions, and you csme back with the ail 


of a much travelled man, as from a long journey, with 
adventures to relate, though you may have heard the 
crackling of the fire all the while, — and at a hundred 
rods you might be lost past recovery, and have to camp 
out. It is all mossy and moosey. In some of those dense 
fir and spruce woods there is hardly room for the smoke 
to go up. The trees are a standing night, and every fir 
and spruce which you fell is a plume plucked from night's 
raven wing. Then at night the general stillness is more 
impressive than any sound, but occasionally you hear 
the note of an owl farther or nearer in the woods, and 
if near a lake, the semi-human cry of the loons at their 
unearthly revels. 

Ti)-night the Indian lay between the fire and his 
stretched moose-hide, to avoid the mosquitoes. Indeed, 
he also made a small smoky fire of damp leaves at his 
head and his feet, and then as usual rolled up his head 
in his blanket. We with our veils and our wash were 
tolerably comfortable, but it would be difficult to pursue 
any sedentary occupation in the woods at this season ; 
you cannot see to read much by the light of a fire through 
a veil in the evening, nor handle pencil and paper well 
with gloves or anointed fingers. 

Friday, July 81. 

The Indian said, " You and I kill moose last night, 
therefore use 'em best wood. Always use hard wood 
to cook moose-meat." His "best wood" was rock- 
maple. He cast the moose's lip into the fire, to bum 
the hair off, and then rolled it up with the meat to carry 
along. Observing that we were sitting down to break- 
fast without any pork, he said, with a very grave look, 
« Me want some fat," so he was told that he might have 
as much ai he would fry. 


We had smooth but swift water for a considerable dis- 
tance, where we ghded Tapidly along, scaring up ducks 
and kingfishers. But as usual, our smooth progress ere- 
long came to an end, and we were obliged to carry canoe 
and all about half a mile down the right bank, around 
some rapids or falls. It required sharp eyes sometimes 
to tell which side was the carry, before you went over 
the falls, but Polis never failed to land us rightly. The 
raspberries were particularly abundant and large hero, 
and all hands went to eating them, the Indian remarking 
on their size. 

Often on bare rocky carries the trail was so indistinct 
that I repeatedly lost it, but when I walked behind him 
I observed that he could keep it almost like a hound, and 
rarely hesitated, or, if he paused a moment on a bare 
rock, his eye immediately detected some sign which 
would have escaped me. Frequently we found no path 
at all at these places, and were to him unaccountably 
delayed. He would only say it was " ver strange." 

"We had heard of a Grand Fall on this stream, and 
thought tnat each fall we came to must be it, but after 
christening several in succession with this name, we gave 
up the search. There were more Grand or Petty Falls 
than I can remember. 

I cannot tell how many times we had to walk on ac- 
count of falls or rapids. We were expecting all the 
while that the river would take a final leap and get to 
smooth water, but there was no improvement this fore- 
noon. However, the carries were an agreeable variety. 
So surely as we stepped out of the canoe and stretched 
our legs we found ourselves in a blueberry and raspberry 
garden, each side of our rocky trail ariund the falls being 
lined with one or both. There was not a carry on the 


main East Branch where we did not find an abundance 
of both these berries, for these were the rockiest places, 
and partially cleared, such as these plants prefer, and 
there had been none to gather the finest before us. 

In our three journeys over the carries, for we were 
obliged to go over the ground three times whenever the 
canoe was taken out, we did full justice to the berries, and 
they were just what we wanted to correct the effect of 
our hard bread and pork diet. Another name for making 
a portage would have been going a-berrying. We also 
found a few Amelanchier, or service berries, though most 
were abortive, but they held on rather more generally 
than they do in Concord. The Indian called them 
Pemoymenuk, and said that they bore much fruit in some 
places. He sometimes also ate the northern wild red 
cherries, saying that they were good medicine, but they 
were scarcely edible. 

We bathed and dined at the foot of one of these car- 
ries. It was the Indian who commonly reminded us that 
it was dinner-time, sometimes even by turning the prow 
to the shore. He once made an indirect, but lengthy 
apology, by saying that we might think it strange, but 
that one who worked hard all day was very particular to 
have his dinner in good season. At the most considera- 
ble fall on this stream, when I was walking over the 
carry, close behind the Indian, he observed a track on 
the rock, which was but slightly covered with soil, and, 
stooping, muttered " caribou." When we returned, he 
observed a much larger track near the same place, where 
some animal's foot had sunk into a small hollow in the 
rock, partly filled with grass and earth, and he exclaimed 
with surprise, "What that?" "Well, what is it?" I 
asked. Stooping and laying his hand in it, he answered 


with a mysterious air, and in a half whispei-, " Devil 
[that is, Indian Devil, or cougar] lodges about here 
— very bad animal — pull 'em lochs all to pieces." 
" How long since it was made ? " I asked. " To-day or 
yesterday," said he. But when I asked him afterward 
if he was sure it was the devil's track, he said he did not 
know. I had been told that the scream of a cougar was 
heard about Ktaadn recently, and we were not far from 
that mountain. 

We spent at least half the time in walking to-day, and 
the walking was as bad as usual, for the Indian being 
alone, commonly ran down far below the foot of the car- 
ries before he waited for us. The carry-paths themselves 
were more than usually indistinct, often the route being 
revealed only by the countless small holes in the fallen 
timber made by the tacks in the drivers' boots, or where 
there was a slight trail we did not fird it. It was a tan- 
gled and perplexing thicket, through which we stumbled 
and threaded our way, and when we had finished a mile 
of it, our starting-point seemed far away. We were glad 
that we had not got to walk to Bangor along the banks 
of this river, which would be a journey of more than a 
hundred miles. Think of the denseness of the forest, 
the fallen trees and rocks, the windings of the river, the 
streams emptying in and the frequent swamps to be 
crossed. It made you shudder. Yet the Indian from 
time to time pointed out to us where he had thus crept 
along day after day when he was a boy of ten, and in a 
starving condition. He had been hunting far north of 
this with two grown Indians. The winter came on un- 
expectedly early, and the ice compelled them to leave 
their canoe at Grand Lake, and walk down the bank. 
They shouldered their furs and started for Oldtown. 


The snow was not deep enough for snow-shoe?, or to 
cover the inequalities of the ground. Polis was soon 
too weak to carry any burden ; but he managed to (^atch 
one otter. Tiiis was the most they all had to eat on this 
journey, and he remembered how good the yellow-lily 
roots were, made into a soup with the otter oil. He 
shared this food equally with the other two, but being 
so small he suffered much more than they. He waded 
through the Mattawamkeag at its mouth, when it was 
freezing cold and came up to his chin, and he, being 
very weak and emaciated, expected to be swept away. 
The first house which they reached was at Lincoln, and 
thereabouts they met a white teamster with supplies, who 
seeing their condition gave them as much of his load 
as they could eat. For six months after getting home 
he was very low, and did not expect to live, and was 
perhaps always the worse for it. 

We could not find much more than half of this day's 
journey on our maps (the " Map of the Public Lands of 
Maine and Massachusetts," and " Colton's Rtiilroad und 
Township Map of Maine,** which copies the former). By 
the maps there was not more than fifteen miles between 
camps, at the outside, and yet we had been busily pro- 
gressing all day, and much of the time very rapidly. 

For seven or eight miles below that succession of 
" Grand " falls, the aspect of the banks as well as the 
character of the stream was changed. After passing a 
tributary from the northeast, perhaps Bowlin Stream, 
we had good swift smooth water, with a regular slope, 
such as I have described. Low, grassy banks and 
muddy shores began. Many elms, as well as maples 
and more ash trees overhung the stream, and supplanted 
the spruce. 


Mj lily -roots having been lost when the canoe was ta- 
ken out at a carry, I landed late in the afternoon, at a 
low and grassy place amid maples, to gather more. It 
was slow work grubbing them up amid the sand, and the 
mosquitoes were all the while feasting on me. Mosqui- 
toes, black flies, &c., pursued us in mid-channel, and we 
were glad sometimes to get into violent rapids, for then 
we escaped them. 

A red-headed woodpecker flew across the river, and 
the Indian remarked that it was good to eat. As we 
glided swiftly down the inclined plane of the river, a 
great cat-owl launched itself away from a stump on the 
bank, and flew heavily across the stream, and the Indian, 
as usual, imitated its note. Soon the same bird flew back 
in front of us, and we afterwards passed it perched on a 
tree. Soon afterward a white-headed eagle sailed down 
the stream before us. We drove him several miles, 
while we were looking for a good place to camp, for we 
expected to be overtaken by a shower, — and still we 
could distinguish him by his white tail, sailing away 
from time to lime from some tree by the shore still 
farther down the stream. Some shecorways, being sur- 
prised by u«, a part of them dived, and we passed directly 
over them, and could trace their course here and there 
by a bubble on the surface, but we did not see them come 
up. Polls detected once or twice what he called a 
" tow " road, an indistinct path leading into the forest. 
In the mean while we passed the mouth of the Seboois 
on our left. This did not look so large as our stream, 
which was indeed the main one. It was some time be- 
fore we found a camping-place, for the shore was either 
too grassy and muddy, where mosquitoes abounded, or 
too steep a hillside. The Indian said that there were but 


few mosquitoes on a steep hillside. "We examined a good 
place, where somebody had camped a long time ; but it 
seemed pitiful to occupy an old site, where there was so 
much room to choose, so we continued on. We at length 
found a place to our minds, on the west bank, about a mile 
below the mouth of tiie Seboois, where, in a very dense 
spruce wood above a gravelly shore, there seemed to be 
but few insects. The trees were so thick that we were 
obliged to clear a space to build our fire and lie down in, 
and the young spruce trees that were left were like the 
wall of an apartment rising around us. "We were 
obliged to pull ourselves up a steep bank to get there. 
But the place which you have selected for your camp, 
thougli never so rough and grim, begins at once to have 
its attractions, and becomes a very centre of civilization 
to you : " Home is home, be it never so homely." 

It turned out that the mosquitoes were more numerous 
here than we had found them before, and the Indian com- 
plained a good deal, though he lay, as the night before, 
between three fires and his stretched hide. As I sat on 
a stump by the fire, with a veil and gloves on trying to 
read, he observed, " I make you candle," and in a minute 
he took a piece of birch bark about two inches wide 
and rolled it hard, like an allumette fifteen inches long, 
lit it, and fixed it by the other end horizontally in a split 
stick three feet high, stuck it in the ground, turning the 
blazing end to the wind, and telling me to snuff it from 
time to time. It answered the purpose of a candle pretty 

I noticed, as I had done before, that there was a lull 
among the mosquitoes about midnight, and that they 
began again in the morning. Nature is thus merciful. 
But apparently they need rest as well as we. Few if 


any creatures are equally active all night. As soon as it 
was light I saw, through ray veil, that the inside of the 
tent about our heads was quite blackened with myriads, 
each one of their wings when flying, as has been calcu- 
lated, vibrating some three thousand times in a minute, 
and iheir combined hum was almost as bad to endure as 
their stings. I had an uncomfortable night on this ac- 
count, though I am not sure that one succeeded in his 
attempt to sting me. "We did not suffer so much from 
insects on this excursion as the statements of some who 
have explored these woods in midsummer led us to an- 
ticipate. Yet I have no doubt that at some seasons and 
in some places they are a much more serious pest. The 
Jesuit Ilierome Lalemant, of Quebec, reporting the death 
of Father Reni Menard, who was abandoned, lost hi,^ 
way, and died in the woods, among the Ontarios near 
Lake Superior, in 1G61, dwells chiefly on his probable 
sufferings from the attacks of mosquitoes when too weak 
to defend himself, adding that there was a frightful num- 
ber of them in tho«e parts, " and so insupportable," says 
he, " thai the three Frenchmen who have made thai 
voyage, affirm that there was no other means of defend- 
ing one's self but to run always without stopping, and it 
was even necessary for two of them to be employed in 
driving ofl these creatures while the third wanted to 
drink, otherwise he could not have done it." I Lave no 
doubt that this was said in good faith. 

August 1. 

I caught two or three large red chivin {Leuciscus puU 
chellus) early this morning, within twenty feet of the 
camp, which, added to the moose-tongue, that had been 
left in the kettle boiling over night, and to our other 
stoi-es, made a sumptuous breakfast. The Indian made 


us some hemlock tea instead of coffee, and we were not 
obliged to go as far as China for it ; indeed, not quite so 
far as for the fish. This was tolerable, tliough he said 
it was not strong enough. It was interesting to see so 
limple a dish as a kettle of water with a handful of green 
hemlock sprigs in it, boiling over the huge fire in the 
open air, the leaves fast losing their lively green color, 
and know that it was for our breakfast. 

We were glad to embark once more, and leave some 
of the mosquitoes behind. We had passed the Wassata- 
qiioik without perceiving it. This, according to the 
Indian, is the name of the main East Branch itself, and 
not properly applied to this small tributary alone, as on 
the maps. 

We found that we had camped about a mile above 
Hunt's, which is on the east bank, and is the last house 
for those who ascend Ktaadn on this side. 

We also had expected to ascend it from this point, but 
omitted it on account of the chafed feet of one of my 
com anions. The Indian, however, suggested that per- 
haps he might get a pair of moccasins at this place, and 
that he could walk very easily in them without hurting 
his feet, wearing several pairs of stockings, and he said 
beside that they were so porous that when you had taken 
in water it all drained out again in a little while. We 
stopped to get some sugar, but found that the family had 
moved away, and the house was unoccupied, except tem- 
porarily by some men who were getting the hay. They 
toid me that the road to Ktaadn left the river eight miles 
above ; also that perhaps we could get some sugar at 
Fisk's, fourteen miles below. I do not remember that 
we saw the mountain at all from the river. I noticed a 
seine here stretched on the bank, which probably IkiO 


been used to catcli salmon. Just below this, on the west 
bank, we saw a moose-hide stretched, and with it a bear- 
skin, which was comparatively very smaU. I was the 
more interested in this sight, because it was near here 
tliat a townsman of ours, then quite a lad, and alone, 
killed a large bear some years ago. The Indian said 
that they belonged to Joe Aitteon, my last guide, but how 
he told I do not know. He was probably hunting near, 
and had left them for the day. Finding that w<; were 
going directly to Oldtown, he regretted that he had not 
taken more of the moose-meat to his family, saying that 
in a short time, by drying it, he could have made it so 
light as to have brought away the greater part, leaving 
the bones. We once or twice inquired after the lip, 
which is a famous tit-bit, but he said, " That go Oldtown 
for my old woman ; don't get it every day." 

Maples grew more and more numerous. It was 
lowering, and rained a little during the forenoon, and, as 
we expected a wetting, we stopped early and dined on 
the east side of a small expansion of the river, just above 
what are probably called Whetstone Fallsj about a dozen 
miles below Hunt's. There were pretty fresh moose- 
tracks by the water-side. There were singular long 
ridges hereabouts, called " horsebacks," covered with 
ferns. My companion having lost his pipe asked the 
Indian if he could not make him one. " O yer," said 
he, and in a minute rolled up one of birch-bark, telling 
him to wet the bowl from time to time. Here also he 
left his gazette on a tree. 

We carried round the falls just below, on the west side. 
The rocks were on their edges, and very sharp. The 
distance was about three fourths of a mile. When we 
had carried over one load, the Indian returned by the 


shore, and I by the path ; and though I made no particu- 
lar haste, I was nevertheless surprised to find him at the 
other end as soon as I. It was remarkable how easily 
he got along over the worst ground. He said to me, " I 
take canoe and you take the rest, suppose you can keep 
along with me ? " I thought that he meant, that while he 
ran down the rapids I should keep along the shore, and 
be ready to assist him from time to time, as I had done 
before; but as the walking would be very bad, I an- 
swered, " I suppose you will go too fast for me, but 1 
will try." But I was to go by the path, he said. This 
I thought would not help tkj matter, I should have so far 
to go to get to the river-side when he wanted me. But 
neither was this what he meant. Pie was proposing a 
nice over the carry, and asked me if T thought I could 
keep along with him by the same path, adding that I 
must be pretty smart to do it. As his load, the canoe, 
would be much the heaviest and bulkiest, though the 
simplest, I thought that I ought to be able to do it, and 
said that I would try. So I proceeded to gather up the 
gun, axe, paddle, kettlj, frying-pan, plates, dippers, car- 
pets, &c., &c., and while I was thus engaged he threw rao 
his cow-hide boots. "What, are these in the bargain?" 
I asked. " O yer," said he ; but before I could make 
a bundle of my load I saw him disappearing over a hill 
with the canoe on his head ; so, hastily scraping the vari- 
ous articles together, I started on the run, and immedi- 
ately went by him in the bushes, but I had no sooner 
left him out of sight in a rocky hollow, than the greasy 
plates, dippers, «&;c., took to themselves wings, and while 
I was employed in gathering them up again, he went by 
me ; but hastily pressing the sooty kettle to my side, I 
started once more, and soon passing him again, I saw 


him no more on the carry. I do not mention this as 
anything of a feat, for it was but poor running on my 
part, and he was obliged to move with great caution for 
fear of breaking his canoe as well as his neck. When 
he made his appearance, puffing and panting like myself, 
in answer to my inquiries where he had been, he said, 
" Rocks (locks) cut 'em feet," and laughing added, " 0, 
me love to play sometimes." He said that he and his 
companions when they came to carries several miles 
long used to try who would get over first ; each perhaps 
with a canoe on his head. I bore the sign of the kettle 
on. my brown linen sack for the rest of the voyage. 

We made a second carry on the west side, around 
some falls about a mile below this. On the maiulaud 
were Norway pines, indicating a new geological forma- 
tion, and it was such a dry and sandy soil as we had 
not noticed before. 

As we approached the mouth of the East Branch, we 
passed two or three huts, the first sign of civilization 
after Hunt's, though we saw no road as yet ; we heard a 
cow-bell, and even saw an infant held up to a small 
ijquare window to see us pass, but apparently the infant 
and the mother that held it were the only inhabitants 
then at home for several miles. This took the wind out 
of our sails, reminding us that we were travellers surely, 
while it was a native of the soil, and had the advantage 
of us. Conversation flagged. I would only hear the 
Indian, perhaps, ask my companion, " You load my 
pipe ? " He said that he smoked alder bark, for medi- 
cine. On entering the "West Branch at Nickertow it 
appeared much larger than the East. Polis remarked 
that the former was all gone and lost now, that it was 
all smooth water hence to Oldtown, and he threw away 


his pole which was eut on the Umbazookskus. Thinking 
of the rapids, he said once or twice, that you would n't 
catch him to go East Branch again ; but he did not by 
any means mean all that he said. 
\\ Things are quite changed sines I was here eleven 
years ago. Where there were but one or two houses, I 
now found quite a village, with saw-mills and a store 
(the latter was locked, but its contents were so much the 
more safely stored), and there was a stage-road to Mat- 
tawamkeag, and the rumor of a stage. Indeed, a steamer 
had ascended thus far once, when the water was very 
high. But we were not able to get any sugar, only a 
better shingle to lean our backs against. 'C^ 

We camped about two miles below Nickertow, on the 
south side of the West Branch, covering with fresh twigs 
the withered bed of a former traveller, and feeling that 
we were now in a settled country, especially when in the 
evening we heard an ox sneeze in its wild pasture 
across the river. Wherever you land along the fre- 
quented part of the river, you have not far to go to find 
these sites of temporary inns, the withered bed of iiat- 
tened twigs, the charred sticks, and perhaps the tent- 
poles. And not long since, similar beds were spread 
along the Connecticut, the Hudson, and the Delaware, 
and longer still ago, by the Thames and Seine, and they 
now help to make the soil where private and public gar- 
dens, mansions and palaces are. We could not get fir 
twigs for our bed here, and the spruce was harsh in com- 
parison, having more twig in proportion to its leaf, but 
we improved it somewhat with hemlock. The Indian 
remarked as before, " Must have hard wood to cook 
moose-meat," as if that were a maxim, and proceeded tc 
get it. My companion cooked some in California fashion, 


winding a long string of the meat round a stick and 
slowly turning it in his hand before the fire. It was very 
good. But the Indian not approving of the mode, or 
because he was not allowed to cook it his own way, would 
not taste it. After the regular supper we attempted to 
make a lily soup of the bulbs which I had brought along, 
for I wjslied to learn all I could before I got out of the 
woods Following the Indian's directions, for he began 
to be sick, I washed the bulbs carefully, minced some 
moose-meat and some pork, salted and boiled all together, 
but we had not patience to try the experiment fairly, for 
he said it must be boiled till the roots were completely 
softened so as to thicken the soup like flour ; but though 
we left it on all night, we found it dried to the kettle in 
the morning, and not yet boiled to a flour. Perhaps the 
roots were not ripe enough, for they commonly gather 
them in the fall. As it was, it was palatable enough, 
but it reminded me of the Irishman's limestone broth. 
The other ingredients were enough alone. The Indian's 
name for these bulbs was Sheepnoc. I stirred the soup 
by accident with a striped maple or moose-wood stick. 
which I had peeled, and he remarked that its bark was 
%n emetic. 

He prepared to camp as usual between his moose- 
hide and the fire, but it beginning to rain suddenly, he 
took refuge under the tent with us, and gave us a song 
before falling asUep. It rained hard in the night and 
spoiled another box of matches for us, which the Indian 
had left out, for lie was very careless ; but, as usual, 
we had so much the better night for the rain, since it 
kept the mosquitoes down. 

SU.NDAY, August 2, — 

Was a cloudy and unpromising morning. One of us 


observed to the Indian, " You did not stretch your moose, 
hide last night, did you, Mr. Polis ? " Whereat he re- 
plied, in a tone of surprise, though perhaps not of ill 
humor : " What you ask me that question for ? Suppose 
I stretch 'em, you see 'em. May be your way talking, 
may be all right, no Indian way." I had observed that 
he did not wish to answer the same question more than 
once, and was often silent when it was put again for the 
sake of certainty, as if he were moody. Not that he was 
incommunicative, for he frequently commenced a long- 
winded narrative of his own accord, — repeated at length 
the tradition of some old battle, or some passage in the 
recent history of his tribe in which he had acted a prom- 
inent part, from time to time drawing a long breath, 
and resuming the thread of his tale, with the true story- 
teller's leisureliness, perhaps after shooting a rapid, — 
prefacing with " we-11-by-by," &c., as he paddled along. 
Especially after the day's work was over, and he had put 
himself in posture for the night, he would be unexpect^ 
edly sociable, exhibit even the bonhommie of a French- 
man, and we would fall asleep before he got through his 

Nickertow is called eleven miles from Mattawamkeag 
by the river. Our camp was, therefore, about nine miles 
from the latter place. 

The Indian was quite sick this morning with the colic. 
I thought that he was the worse for the moose-meat he 
had eaten. 

We reached the Mattawamkeag at half past eiglit in 
the morning, in the midst of a drizzling rain, and afle: 
buying some sugar set out again. 

The Indian growing much worse, we stopped io the 
oortb part of Lincoln to get ^•ome brandy for him, bu< 


failing in this, an apothecary recommended Brandreth'a 
pills, which he refused to talce, because he was not ac- 
quainted with them. He said to me, " Me doctor — first 
study my case, find out what ail 'em — then I know what 
to take." We dropped down a little farther, and stopped 
at mid-forenoon on an island and made him a dipper of 
tea. Here too we dined and did some washing and bot- 
anizing, while he lay on the bank. In the afternoon we 
went on a little farther, though the Indian was no better. 
" Bumtibus" as he called it, was a long smooth lake-like 
reach below the Five Islands. He said that he owned 
a hundred acres somewhere up this way. As a thunder- 
shower appeared to be coming up, we stopped opposite 
a barn on the west bank, in Chester, about a mile above 
Lincoln. Here at last we were obliged to spend the 
rest of the day and night, on account of our patient, 
whose sickness did not abate. He lay groaning under 
his canoe on the bank, looking very woe-begone, yet it 
was only a common case of colic. You would not have 
thought, if you had seen him lying about thus, that he 
was the proprietor of so many acres in that neighbor- 
hood, was worth $ 6,000, and had been to Washington. 
It seemed to me that, like the Irish, he made a greater ado 
about liis sickness than a Yankee does, and was more 
alarmed about himself. We talked somewhat of leaving 
him with his people in Lincoln, — for that is one of their 
homes, — and taking the stage the next day, but he ob- 
jected on account of the expense, saying, " Suppose me 
well in morning, you and I go Oldtown by noon." 

As we were taking our tea at twilight, while he lay 
groaning still under his canoe, having at length found 
out " what ail him," he asked me to get him a dipper of 
water. Taking the dippf r in one hand, he seized bid 



powder-horn with the other, and pouring into it a charge 
or two of powder, stirred it up with his finger, and drank 
it off. This was all he took to-day after breakfast beside 
his tea. 

To save the trouble of pitching our tent, when we 
had secured our stores from wandering dogs, we camped 
in the solitary half-open barn near the bank, with the 
permission of the owner, lying on new-mown hay four 
feet deep. The fragrance of the hay, in which many 
ferns, «fec. were mingled, was agreeable, though it was 
quite alive with grasshoppers which you could hear 
crawling through it. This served to graduate our ap- 
proach to houses and feather-beds. In the night some 
large bird, probably an owl, flitted through over our 
heads, and very early in the morning we were awakened 
by the twittering of swallows which had their nests there. 

Monday, August 3. 

We started early before breakfast, the Indian being 
considerably better, and soon glided by Lincoln, and after 
another long and handsome lake-like reach, we stopped 
to breakfast on the west shore, two or three miles below 
this town. 

We frequently passed Indian Islands with their small 
houses on them. The Governor, Aitteon^ Hves in one of 
them, in Lincoln. 

The Penobscot Indians seem to be moi-e social, even, 
than the whites. Ever and anon in the deepest wilder- 
ness of Maine you come to the log-hut of a Yankee or 
Canada settler, but a Penobscot never takes up his resi- 
dence in such a solitude. They are not even scattered 
about on llieir islands in the Penobscot, which are al. 
Hrilhin the settlements but gathered together on two o? 


three, — though not always on the best soil, — eviilently 
for the sake of society. I saw one or two houses not 
now used by them, because, as our Indian Polis said, 
they were too solitary. 

The small river emptying in at Lincoln is the Mata- 
nancook, which also, we noticed, was the name of a 
steamer moored there. So we paddled and floated along, 
looking into the mouths of rivers. When passing the 
Mohawk Rips, or, as the Indian called them, " Mohog 
lips," four or five miles below Lincoln, he told us at 
length the story of a fight between his tribe and the Mo- 
hawks there, anciently, — how tlie latter were overcome 
by stratagem, the Penobscots using concealed knives, — 
but they could not for a long time kill the Mohawk chief, 
who was a very large and strong man, though he was 
attacked by several canoes at once, when swimming alone 
in the river. 

From time to time we met Indians in their canoes, 
going up river. Our man did not commonly approach 
them, but exchanged a few words with them at a distance 
in his tongue. These were the fii'st Indians we had met 
since leaving the Uinbazookskus. 

At Piscataquis Falls, just above the river of that name, 
we walked over the wooden railroad on the eastern shore, 
about one and a half miles long, while the Indian glided 
down the rapids. The steamer from Oldtown stops here, 
and passengers take a new boat above. Piscataquis, 
whose mouth we here passed, means " branch." It is ob" 
Btructed by falls at its mouth, but can be navigated with 
bateaux or canoes above through a settled country, 
even to the neighborhood o^ Moosehead Lake, and we 
bad thouglit at first of going tliat way. We were nol 
3blig<'d tc get out of the catioi after this on account of 


falls or rapids, nor, indeed, was it quite necessary herei 
"We took less notice of the scenery to-day, beavuse we 
were in quite a settled country. The river became 
broad and sluggish, and we saw a blue heron winging 
its way slowly down the stream before us. 

We passed the Passadumkeag River on our left and 
saw the blue Olamon mountains at a distance in the south- 
east. Hereabouts our Indian told us at length the story 
of their contention with the priest respecting schools. He 
thought a great deal of education and had recommended 
it to his tribe. His argument in its favor was, that if you 
had been to college and learnt to calculate, you could 
" keep 'em property, — no other way." He said that his 
boy was the best scholar in the school at Oldtovvn, to 
which he went with whites. He himself is a Protestant, 
and goes to church regularly in Oldtown. According to 
his account, a good many of his tribe are Protestants, and 
many of the Catholics also are in fa%or of schools. Some 
years ago they had a schoolmaster, a Protestant, whom 
they liked very well. The priest came and said that 
they must send him away, and finally he had such influ- 
ence, telling them that they would go to the bad place at 
last if they retained him, that they sent him away. The 
school party, though numerous, were about giving up. 
Bishop Fenwick came from Boston and used his influ- 
ence against them. But our Indian told his side that 
they must not give up, must hold on, they were the 
strongest. If they gave up, then they would have no 
party. But they answered that it was " no use, priest 
too strong, we 'd better give up." At length he per- 
suaded them to make a stand. 

The priest was going for a sign to cut down the lib- 
erty -pel 2. So Polls and his party had a secret meeting 


about it; he got ready fifteen or twenty stout young 
men, " stript 'em naked, and painted 'era like old times," 
and told them that when the priest and his party went to 
cut down the liberty-pole, they were to rush up, take hold 
of it and prevent them, and he assured them that there 
would be no war, only a noise, " no war where priest 
is." He kept his men concealed in a house near by, and 
when the priest's party were about to cut down the lib- 
erty-pole, the fall of which would have been a death-blo'.v 
to tlie school party, he gave a signal, and his young men 
rushed out and seized the pole. There was a great up* 
roar, and they were about coming to blows, but the priest 
interfered, saying, " No war, no war," and so the pole 
stands, and the school goes on still. 

We thought that it showed a good deal of tact in him, 
to seize this occasion and take his stand on it ; proving 
how well he understood those with whom he had to deal. 

The Olamon River comes in from the east in Green- 
bush a few miles below the Passadumkeag. When we 
asked the meaning of this name, the Indian said that there 
was an island opposite its mouth which was called Olar- 
mon. That in old times, when visitors were coming to 
Oldtown, they used to stop there to dress and fix up or 
paint themselves. " What is that which ladies used ? " 
he asked. Rouge ? Red vermilion ? " Yer," he said, 
^ ihat is larmon, a kind of clay or red paint, which they 
used to get here." 

We decided that we too would stop at this island, and 
fix up our inner man, at least, by dining. 

It was a large island with an abundance of hemp-net- 
tle, but 1 did not notice any kind of red paint there. 
The Olarmon River, at iti mouth at least, is a dead 
stream. There was another large island in that neigh- 


borhood, which the Indian called " Soogle " (i. e. Sugar) 

About a dozen miles before reaching Oldtown he in- 
quired, " How you like 'em your pilot?" Hut we post> 
poned an answer till we had got quite back again. 

The Sunkhaze, another short dead stream, comes in 
from the east two miles above Oldtown. There is said 
to be some of the best deer ground in Maine on this 
stream. Asking the meaning of this name, the Indian 
said, "Suppose you are going down Penobscot, just 
like we, and you see a canoe come out of bank and go 
along before you, but you no see 'em stream. That is 

He had previously complimented me on my paddling, 
saying that I paddled "just like anybody," giving me an 
Indian name which meant " great paddler." When off 
this stream he said to me, who sat in the bows, " Me 
teach you paddle." So turning toward the shoi-e he got 
out, came forward and placed my hands as he wished. 
He placed one of them quite outside the boat, and the 
other parallel with the first, grasping the paddle near the 
end, not over the flat extremity, and told me to slide it 
back and forth on the side of the canoe. This, I found, 
was a great improvement which I had not thought of, 
saving me the labor of lifting the paddle each time, and 
I wondered that he had not suggested it before. It i3 
true, before our baggage was reduced we had been 
obliged to sit with our legs drawn up, and our knees 
above the side of the canoe, which would have prevented 
our paddling thus, or perhaps he was afraid of weai'ing 
out his canoe, by constant friction on the side. 

I told him that I had been accustomed to sit in the 
Item, and lifting my paddle at each stroke, getting a prj 


an the side each time, and I still paddled partly as if in 
the stern. He then wanted to see me paddle in the stern. 
So, changing paddles, for he had the longer and better 
one, and turning end for end, he sitting flat on the bot- 
tom and I on the crossbar, he began to paddle very hard, 
trying to turn the canoe, looking over his shoulder and 
laughing, but finding it in vain he relaxed his efforts, 
though we still sped along a mile or two very swiftly. 
He said that he had no fault lo lind with my paddling in 
the stern, but 1 complained that he did not paddle accord 
ing to his own directions in the bows. 

Opposite the Sunkhaze is the main boom of the Pe- 
nobscot, where the logs from far up the river are collected 
and assorted. 

As we drew near to Oldtown I asked Polis if he was 
not glad to get home again ; but there was no relenting 
to his wildn^ss, and he said, " It makes no difference to 
me where I am." Such is the Indian's pretence always. 

We approached the Indian Island through the narrow 
strait called " Cook." He said, " I 'xpect we take in 
some water there, river so high, — never see it so high at 
this season. Very rough water there, but short ; swamp 
steamboat once. Don't you paddle till I tell you, then 
you paddle right along." It was a very short rapid. 
When we were in the midst of it he shouted " paddle," 
and we shot through without taking in a drop. 

Soon after the Indian houses came in sight, but 1 
could not at first tell my companion which of two or three 
large white ones was our guide's. He said it was the one 
with blinds. 

We landed opposite his doc r at about four in the after- 
noon, having come some forty miles this day. From the 
Piscataquis we had come remarkably and unaccountably 


quick, probably as fast as the stage or the boat, though 
the last dozen miles was dead water. 

Polls wanted to sell us his canoe, said it would last 
seven or eight years, or with care, perhaps ten ; but we 
were not ready to buy it. 

We stopped for an hour at his house, where my com- 
panion shaved with his razor, which he pronounced in 
very good condition. Mrs. P. wore a hat and had a sil- 
ver brooch on her breast, but she was not introduced to 
us. Tlie house was roomy and neat. A large new map 
of Oldtown and the Indian Island hung on the wall, and 
a clock opposite to it. Wishing to know when the cars 
left Oldtown, Polis's son brought one of the last Bangor 
papers, which I saw was directed to *' Joseph Polls," 
from the office. 

This was the last that I saw of Joe Polis. We took 
the last train, and reached Bangor that lught. 




The prevailing trees (I speak only of what I e-w) on the eaat 
and west branches of the Penobscot and on the upper part of the 
AUegash were the fir, spruce (both black and white), and arbor- 
vitae, or " cedar." The fir has the darkest foliage, and, together 
with the spruce, makes a very dense " black growth," especially 
on the upper parts of the rivers. A dealer in lumber with whom 
I talked called the former a weed, and it is commonly regarded as 
fit neither for timber nor fuel. But it is more sought after as an 
ornamental tree than any other evergreen of these woods except 
the arbor-vitae. The black spruce is much more common than the 
white. Both are tall and slender trees. The arbor-vitae, which is 
of a more cheerful hue, with its light-green fans, is also tall and 
slender, though sometimes two feet in diameter. It often fills the 

Mingled with the former, and also here and there forming exten- 
Bive and more open woods by themselves, indicating, it is said, a 
better soil, were canoe and yellow birches (the former was always 
at hand for kindling a fire, — we saw no small white-birches in that 
wilderness), and sugar and red maples. 

The Aspen (Popidus tremuloides) was very common on burnt 
grounds. We saw many straggling white pines, commonly unsound 
trees, which had therefore been skipped by the choppers ; these 
were the largest trees we saw ; and we occasionally passed a small 
wood in which this was the prevailing tree ; but I did not notice 
nearly so many of these trees as I can see in a single walk in Con- 
cord. The speckled or hoary alder [Alnus incana) abounds every 
wheve along the muddy banks of rivers and lakes, and in swampa 
Hemlock could commonly be found for tea, bu;' was nowhere abao 


dant Yet F. A. Michanx states that in Maine, Vermont, and the 
upper part of New Hampshire, &c., the hemlock forms three fourths 
of the evergreen woods, the rest being black spruce. It belongs to 
cold hillsides. 

The elm and black ash were very common along the lower and 
stiller parts of the streams, where the shores were flat and grassy 
or there were low gravelly islands. They made a pleasing variety 
in the scenery, and we felt as if nearer home while gliding past 

The above fourteen trees made the bulk of the woods which 
we saw. 

The larch (Juniper), beech, and Norway pine {Pinus resinosa, 
red pine), were only occasionally seen in particular places. The 
Pinus Banksiana (gray or Northern scrub-pine), and a single small 
red oak (Quercus rubra) only, are on islands in Grand Lake, on the 
East Branch. 

The above are almost all peculiarly Northern trees, and foond 
chiefly, if not solely, on mountains southward. 


It appears that in a forest like this the great majority of flowers, 
shrubs, and grasses are confined to the banks of the rivers and 
lakes, and to the meadows, more open swamps, burnt lands, and 
mountain-tops ; comparatively very few indeed penetrate the woods. 
There is no such dispersion even of wild-flowers as is commonly 
supposed, or as exists in a cleared and settled country. Most of 
our wild-flowers, so called, may be considered as naturalized in the 
localities where they grow. Rivers and lakes are the great protec- 
tors of such plants against the aggressions of the forest, by their 
annual rise and fall keeping open a narrow strip where these more 
delicate plants have light and spact in which to grow. They are 
the proi^g€s of the rivers. These narrow and straggling bands 
and isolated groups are, in a sense, the pioneers of civilizaticn. 
Birds, quadrupeds, insects, ana man also, in the main, follow the 
flowers, and the latter in his turn makes more room for them and 


for berry-bearing shrubs, birds, and small quadrupeds. One settler 
told mo that not only blackberries and raspberries, but mountain- 
maples came in, in the clearing and burning. 

Though plants are often referred to primitive woods as their 
locality, it cannot be true of very many, unless the woods are sup- 
posed to inc'ude sucii localities as I have mentioned. Only those 
which require but little light, and can bear the drip of the trees, 
penetrate the woods, and these have commonly more beauty in 
.heir leaves than in their pale and almost colorless blossoms. 

The prevailing flowers and conspicuous small plants of the 
woods, which I noticed, were : Clintonia borealis, Linncea, checker- 
berry {Gaultheria procunibens),Aralia nudicauUs (wild sarsaparilla), 
great round-leaved orchis, Dalibarda repens, Chicyenes hispidula 
(creeping snowbcrry). Oralis acetosella (common wood-sorrel), As^ 
ter acuminatus, Pyrola secunda (one-sided pyrola), Medeola Virginica 
(Indian cucumber-root), small Circcea (enchanter's nightshade), 
and perhaps Cornus Canadensis (dwarf cornel). 

Of these, the last of July, 1858, only the Aster acuminatus and 
great round-leaved orc/iis were conspicuously in bloom. 

Tiie most common flowers of the river and lake shores were : 
TTinlictrum cornuti (meadow-rue), //ypericum ellipticum,mutilum, and 
Canadense (St. John's-wort), horsemint, horehound, Lycopus Vir- 
^inicus and Europwus, var. sinuatus (bugle-weed), Scutellaria gale- 
riculata (skull-cap), Solidago lanceoluta and s(]uarrosa East Branch 
(golden-rod), Diplopappiis umhellatus (double-bristled aster). Aster 
radula, Cicuta maculata and bulbifcra (water-hemlock), meadow- 
sweet, Lysimachia striata and ciliata (loose-strife), Galium trijidum 
\small bed-straw), Z,!7«!Hn Canadense (wild yellow-lily), Platanthera 
peratruena and psycodes (great purple orciiis and small purple- 
fringed orchis), Mimulus ringens (monkey-flower), dock (water), 
bine flag, IJijdrocotyle Americana (marsh pennywort), Sanicula Can- 
adensis? (black snake-root). Clematis Virginiana? (common vir- 
gin's-bower), Nasturtium palustre (marsh cress). Ranunculus recurvu' 
tus (hooked crowfoot), .4sc/e/>('as incarnata (swamo milkweed), J.s<er 
Tradescanti (Tradescant's aster), Aster misei, also longifoUus, Eu- 
paiorium purpureum apparently, lake shores (Joe-Pye-weed), Apocy- 
uiiin Cannahinum East Branch (Indian hemp). Polygonum cilinodt 
(bind-weed), and others. Not to mention among inferior orden 
miol-grass and the sensitive fern. 


In the water, Nuphar advena (yellow pond-lily), some potamog» 
tons (pond-weed), SagiUaria variabilis (arrow-head), Sium linearef 

Of tliese, those conspicuously in flower the last of July, 1857, 
were : rue, Solidago lancedata and squarrosa, Diplopappus umbeUaius, 
Astei- ladula Lilinm Canudense, great and small purple orchis, Mi' 
mulus ringens, blue flag, virgin's-bower, &c. 

The characteristic flowers in swamps were : Riibus trijionts (dwarf 
raspberry), Calla palustris (water-arum), and Sarracmia purpurea 
(pitcher-plant). On buriU grounds : Epilobium angusti/olium, in full 
bl>)m (great willow-herb), and Erechthites hieracifolia (fire-weed). 
On cliffs: Campanula rotundifolia (harebell), Cornus Canadentit 
(dwarf cornel), Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (bearberry), Potentilla tri- 
dentata (mountain cinquefoil), Pteris aquilina (common brake). 
At old camps, carries, and logging-paths : Cirsium arvense (Canada 
thistle). Prunella vulgaris (common self-heal), clover, herds-grass, 
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow), Leucanlhemuin vulgare (wliite- 
weed). Aster macrophyllus, Halenia deflexa East Branch (spurred 
gentian), .4«<ennan'a margaritacea (pearly everlasting), 4ctoa ridjra 
and alba, wet carries (red and white cohosh), Desmodium Canadense 
(tick-trefoil), sorrel. 

The handsomest and most interesting flowers were the great 
purple orchises, rising ever and anon, with their great purple spikes 
perfectly erect, amid the shrubs and grasses of the shore. It seemed 
strange that they should be made to grow there in such profusion, 
seen of moose and moose-hunters only, while they are so rare in 
Concord. I have never seen this species flowering nearly so late 
with us, or with the small one. 

The prevailing underwoods were : Dirca palustris (moose-wood), 
Acer spicatum (mountain maple). Viburnum lantanoides (hobble- 
bush), and frequently Taxus baccala, var. Canadensis (American 

The prevailing shrubs and small trees along the shore were : 
ps;«- rouge and alders (before mentioned) ; sallows, or small wil- 
lows, of two or three kinds, as Saliz humdis, rostrata, and discolor?, 
Sambucus Canadensis (black elder), rose, Viburnum opulus and nu- 
dum (cranberry-tree and withe-rod), Pgrus Americana (American 
mountain -ash), Corylus rostrata (beaked hazel-nut), Dierrdla trijida 
'bush-honeysuckle), Prunua Virginiana (choke-cherry), Myrioi gaU 


(sweet-gale), Nemopanthes Canadensis (mountain holly), Cephalan 
\hus occidentalis (button-bush), Ribes prostratum, in some place* 
(fetid currant). 

More particularly of shrubs and srauU trees in swamps: some 
willows, Kalinia glauca (pale laurel). Ledum latifoUum and palustre 
(Labrador tea), Ribes lacustre (swamp gooseberry), and in one place 
Bttula piimila (low birch). At camps and carries : raspberry. Vac- 
einiufn Canadense (Canada blueberry). Primus Penn sylvan ica also 
along shore (wild red cherry), Amelanchier Canadensis (shad-bush), 
Sambucus pubens (red-berried elder). Among those peculiar to the 
mountains would be the Vaccinium vilis-ida:a (cow-berry). 

Of plants commonly regarded as introduced from Europe, I 
observed at Ansel Smith's clearing, Chesuncook, abundant in 
1857: Ranunculus nc/vs (buttercups), Plantago major (common 
plantain), Chenopodium album (lamb's-quarters), Capsella bursa-pas- 
torts, 1853 (shepherd's-purse), Spergula arvensis, also, north shore 
of Moosehead, in 1853, and elsewhere, 1857 (corn-spurrey), 
Taraxacum dens-leonis — regarded as indigenous by Gray, but evi- 
dently introduced there — (common dandelion), Poli/gonum Persica- 
via and hydropiper, by a logging-path in woods at Smith's (lady's- 
thumb and smart-weed), Rumex acetosella, common at carries (sheep- 
Borrel), Trifolium pratense, 1853, and carries frequent (red clover), 
Leucanthemtim vulyare, carries (white weed), PIdeum pratense, carries, 
1853-7 (herd's-grass). Verbena hastala (blue vervain), Cirsium ar- 
vense, abundant at camps 1857 (Canada thistle), Rumex crispus?, 
West Branch, 1853 ? (curled dock), Verbascum thapsus, between 
Bangor and lake, 1853 (common mullein). 

It appears that I saw about a dozen plants which had accom- 
panied man as far into the woods as Chesuncook, and had natu- 
ralized themselves there, in 1853. Plants begin thus early to spring 
iy the side of a logging-path, — a mere vista through the woods, 
which can only be used in the winter, on account of the stumps 
und fallen trees, — which at length are the roadside plants in old 
lettleinents. The pioneers of such are planted in part by the firsl 
eattle, which cannot be summered in the woods. 



Thb following is a list of the plants which I noticed in thfl 
Maine woods, in the years 1853 and 1857. (Those marked • 
not in woods.) 

1. Those which attaineu the height of Trees. 

Alnus incana (speckled or hoary alder), abundant along streams, 

Thuja occidentalis (American arbor- vitse), one of the prevailing. 

Fraxinus sambucifolia (black ash), very common, especially near 
dead water. The Indian spoke of "yellow ash" as also found 

Populus tremuloides (American aspen), very common, especially 
on burnt lands, almost as white as birches. 

Populus grandideHtata (large-toothed aspen), perhaps two or 

Fagus ferruginea (American beech), not uncommon, at least on 
the West Branch (saw more in 1846). 

Detula papyracea (canoe-birch), prevailing everywhere and aboat 

lietula excelsa (yellow birch), very common. 

Detula lenta (black birch), on the West Branch, in 1853. 

Betula alba (American white birch), about Bangor only. 

Ulmus Americana (American or white elm), West Branch and 
bw down the East Branch, i. e. on the lower and alluvial part of 
the river, very common. 

Larix Americana (American or black larch), very common on 
the Umhazookskus, some elsewhere. 

Abies Canadtnsis (hemlock-spruce), not abundant, some on tae 
West Branch, and a little everywhere. 

Acer saccharinum (sugar maple), very common. 

Acer rubrum (red or swamp maple), very common. 

Acer dasycarpum (white or silver maple), a little low on East 
Branch and in Chesuncook woods. 

Qnercus rubra (red oak), one on an island in Grand Lake, EasI 
Branch, and, according to a settler, a tew on the east side of Che 
luncook Lake; a few also about Bangor in 1853. 


Pinui strobus (white pine), scattered along, most abandant at 
Beron Lake. 

Pinus resitiosa (red pine), Telos and Grand Lake, a little after- 
wards here and there. 

Abies balsamea (\jalsam fir), perhaps the most common tree, es* 
pecially in the upper parts of rivers. 

Abies nigra (black or double spruce), next to the last the mosi 
common, if not equally common, and on mountains. 

Abies alba (white or single spruce), common with the last along 
the rivers. 

Pinus Banksiana (gray or Northern scrub-pine), a few oa an 
island in Grand Lake. 

Twenty-three in all (23). 

2. Small Trees and SHRims. 

Prunus depressa (dwarf-cherry), on gravel bars, East Branch, near 
Hunt's, with green fruit, obviously distinct from the pumila of river 
and meadows. 

Vaccinium corymbosum (common swamp blueberry), Bucksport. 

Vaccinium Canadense (Canada blueberry), carries and rocky hills 
everywhere as far south as Bucksport. 

Vaccinium Pennsylvanicum (dwarf-blueberry ?), Whetstone Falb. 

Bettda pumila (low birch), Mud Pond Swamp. 

Prinos verticillata (black alder, '57), now placed with Hex by 
Gray, 2d ed. 

Cephalanthus occidentalis (button-bush). 

Prunus Pennsylvanica (wild red cherry), very common at camps, 
carries, &c., along rivers; fruit ripe August 1, 1857. 

Prunus Virginiana (choke-cherry), river-side, common. 

Cornus altemifolia (alternate-leaved cornel). West Branch, 1853. 

Biles prostratum (fetid currant), common along streams, on Web- 
Dtei Stream. 

Sambucus Canadensis (common elder), conunon along river- 

Sambucus pubens (red-berried elder), not quite so common, road- 
sides toward Moosehcad , and on carries afterward, fruit beautiful. 

Ribes lacustre (swamp-gooseberry), swamps, common, Mud Pond 
Swamp and Webster Stream ; not ripe July 29, 1857. 


Corylus rostrata (beaked hazel-nut), common. 

Taxus baccata, var. Canadensis (American yew), a common nil* 
der-shrub at an island in West Branch and Chesuncook woods. 

VUurnum lantanoides (hobble-bush), common, especially in Che- 
luncook woods ; fruit ripe in September, 1853, not in July, 1857. 

Viburnum opulus (cranberry-tree), on West Branch ; one in flower 
itill, July 25, 1857. 

Viburnum nudum (withe-rod), common along rivers. 

Kalmia glauca (pale laurel), swamps, common, as at Moosehcad 
carry and Chamberlain swamp. 

Kalmia angustifolia (lamb-kill), with Kalmia glauca. 

Acer spicatum (mountain maple), a prevailing underwood. 

Acer striatum (striped maple), in fruit July 30, 1857 ; green the 
first year; green, striped with white, the second; darker, the third, 
with dark blotches. 

Cornus stolonifera (red-osier dogwood), prevailing shrub on shore 
of West Branch; fruit still white in August, 1857. 

Pyrus Americana (American mountain ash), common along 

Amelanchier Canadensis (shad-bush), rocky carries, &c. ; consider- 
able fruit in 1857. 

Rubus strigosus (wild red raspberry), very abundant, burnt 
grounds, camps, and carries, but not ripe till we got to Cham 
berlain dam and on East Branch. 

Rosa Carolina (swamp-rose), common on the shores of lakes, &C. 

Rhus typhina* (stag-horn sumac). 

Myrica gale (sweet-gale), common. 

Nemopanthes Canadensis (mountain holly), common in low 
ground, Moosehead carry, and on Mount Kineo. 

Cratcegus (coccinea? scarlet-fruited thorn), not uncommon; wiia 
hard fruit in September, 1 853. 

Salix (near to petiolaris, petioled willow), very common in Uui' 
bazookskus meadows. 

Salix rostrata (long-beaked willow), common. 

Salix humilis (low bush-willow), common. 

Salix discolor (glaucous willow ?). 

Salix lucida (shining willow), at island in Heron lake. 

Dirca palustris (moose-wood), common. 

In all, 38. 


8. Shall Shkubs and Herbaceous Plants. 

Agrimonia Eupatoria (common agrimony), not uncommon. 

Circcea Alpina (enchanter's nightshade), very common in woods. 

Nasturtium palustre (marsh cress), var. hispidum, common as at 
A.- Smith's. 

Aralia hispida (bristly sarsaparilb)yOn West Branch, both years. 

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla), Chesuncook woods. 

Sagittaria rariabilis (arrow-head), common at Moosehead and 

Arum triphyllum (Indian turnip), now ariscema, Mcosehead carry 
in 1853. 

Asclepias incamata (swamp milk-weed), Umbazookskus Biver 
and after, redder than ours, and a different variety from our var. 

Aster acumtnatus (pointed-leaved aster), the prevailing aster in 
woods, not long open on South Branch July 31st; two or more feet 

Aster macrophyllus (large-leaved aster), common, and the whole 
plant surprisingly fragrant, like a medicinal herb, just out at Telos 
Dam July 29, 1857, and after to Bangor and Bucksport ; bluish 
flower (in woods on Pine Stream and at Chesuncook in 1853). 

Aster radda (rough-leaved aster), common, Moosehead carry 
and after. 

Aster miser (petty aster), in 1853 on West Branch, and common 
on Chesuncook shore. 

Astei- longifolius (willow-leaved bine aster), 1853, Moosehead and 
Chesuncook shores. 

Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster), 1853, "West Branch. 

Aster Tradescanti (Tradescant's aster), 1857. A narrow-leaved 
one Chesuncook shore, 1853. 

Aster, longifolius like, with small flowers. West Branch, 1853. 

Aster puniceus (rough-stemmed aster). Pine Stream. 

Diplopappus umbellatus (large diplopappus aster), common along 

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (bear-berrv), Kineo, &c., 1857. 

Polygonum cilinode (fringe-jointea false tuckwheat), common. 

Bidens cernua (bur-marigold), 1853, West Branch. 

lianunculus acris (buttercups), abundant at Smith's dara, Ch©« 
yancook, 1853. 


liubus triflorus (dwarf-raspberry), low grounds and swamps, ooift 

Utricucaria vulgaris* (greater bladder-wort), Pushaw. 

Iris versicolor (larger blue-flag), commoa Moosehead, Wert 
Branch, Umbazookskus, &c. 

Sparganium (bur-reed). 

CaUa palustris (water-arum), in bloom July 27, 1857, Mad load 

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal-flower), apparently common, but out 
af bloom August, 1857. 

Cerastium nutans (clammy wild chickweed?). 

Gaullheria procumbens (checkerberry), prevailing everywhere in 
woods along banks of rivers. 

Stellaria media* (common chickweed), Bangor. 

Chiogenes hispidula (creeping snowberry), very common in woods 

Cicuta maculata (water-hemlock). 

Cicuta bulbifera (bulb-bearing water-hemlock), Penobscot and 
Chesuncook shore, 1853. 

Galium trifidum (small bed-straw), common. 

Galium Aparine (cleavers?), Chesuncook, 1853. 

Galium, one kind on Pine Stream, 1853. 

Trifolium pratense (red-clover), on carries, &c. 

Actcea spicata, var. alba (white cohosh), Chesuncook woods 1853, 
Bnd East Branch 1857. 

Actcea var. rubra (red cohosh). East Branch 1857. 

Vaccinium vitis-idcea (cow-berry), Ktaadn, very abundant. 

Comus Canadensis (dwarf-cornel), in woods Chesuncook 1853; 
just ripe at Kineo July 24, 1857, common ; still in bloom, Mooso- 
head carry September 16, 1853. 

Medeola Virginica (Indian cucumber-root), West Branch and 
Chesuncook woods. 

Dalibarda repens (Dalibarda), Moosehead carry and after, com- 
won. In flower still, August 1, 1857. 

laraxacum dens-leonis (common dandelion), Smith's 1853, only 
(here. Is it not foreign ? 

Diervilla trijida (bush honeysuckle), very common. 

Rximex hydrolapalhum f (great water-dock), in 1857; noticed k 
was large seeded in 1853, common. 

Rumex crispus f (curled-dock), West Branch 1853. 


Apocynum cannahinum (Indian liemp), Kinco, Bradford, and East 
Branch 1857, at Whetstone Falls. 

Apocynum androsamifolium (spreading dogbane), Kineo, Bradford. 

Clintonia borealis (Clintonia), all over woods; fruit jast ripening 
July 25, 1857. 

A lemna (duckweed), Pushaw 1857. 

Elodea Vinjinka (marsh St. John's-wort), Moosehead 1853. 

Epilobium amjustifoUum (great willow-herb), great fields on burnt 
l&nds ; some white at Webster Stream. 

Epilobium coloratum (purple-veined willow-herb), once in 1857. 

Eupatorium purpureum (Joe-Pye-weed), Heron, Moosehead, and 
Chesuncook lake-shores, common. 

Allium (onion), a new kind to me in bloom, without bulbs above, 
on rocks near Whetstone Falls ? East Branch. 

Halenia deflexa (spurred gentian), carries on East Branch, com- 

Geranium Robertianum (Herb Robert). 

Solidago lanceolata (bushy golden-rod), very common. 

Solidago, one of the three-ribbed, in both years. 

Solidago thyrsoidea (large mountain golden-rod), one on Wcbstei 

Solidago squarrosa (large-spiked golden-rod), the most common 
on East Branch. 

Solidago aliissima (rough hairy golden-rod), not uncommon both 

Coplis trifolia (three-leaved gold-thread). 

Smilax herbacea (carrion-flower), not uncommon both yeara. 

Spircea tomentosa* (hardback), Bangor. 

Campanula rotundifolia (harebell), cliffs Kineo, Grand Lake, &c. 

Hieracium (hawk-weed), not uncommon. 

Veratrum viride (American white hellebore). 

Lycopus Virginicus (bugle-weed), 1857. 

Lycopus Europceus (water-horehound), var. sinuitus, Heron Lake 

Chenopodium album (lamb's-quarters). Smith's. 

Mentha Canadensis (wild mint), very common. 

Galeopsis tetrahit (common hemp-nettle), Olarmon Isle, abnndo'i^ 
ud below, in prima August 3, 1857. 

Bmuionia ccerulea (bluets), now Oldenlandia (Gray, 2d ed.), 1857 


Bydi jcott/le Americana {marsh pennywort), common. 

Hypericum dlipticum (elliptical-leaved St. John's-wort), com- 

Hypericum mutilum (small St. John's-wort), both years, common. 

Hypericum Canadense (Canadian St. John's-wort), Moosehead 
Lake and Chesuncook shores, 1853. 

Trientalis Americana (star-flower), Pine Stream, 1853. 

Lobelia injlata (Indian tobacco). 

Spiranthes cernuus (ladies' tresses), Kineo and after. 

Nabahts (rattlesnake root), 1857; altissimus (tall white lettuce), 
Chesuncook woods, 1853. 

Ante.nnaria margarilacea (pearly everlasting), common, Moose- 
liead. Smith's, &c. 

Lilittm Canadense (wild yellow lily), very common and large, 
West and East Branch ; one on East Branch, 1857, with strongly 
revolute petals, and leaves perfectly smooth beneath, but not larger 
than the last, and apparently only a variety. 

Linncea borealis (Linnaea), almost everywhere in woods. 

Lobelia Dortmanna (water-lobelia), pond in Bucksport. 

Lysimachia ciliata (hairy-stalked loosestrife), very common, Che- 
suncook shore and East Branch. 

Lysimachia stricta (upright loosestrife), very common. 

Microstylis ophioglossoides (adder's-mouth), Kineo. 

Spircea salicifolia (common meadow-sweet), common. 

Mimulus ringens (monkey-flower), common, lake-shores, &c. 

Scutellaria galericulata (skullcap), very common. 

Scutellaria lateriflora (mad-dog skullcap). Heron Lake, 1857, 
Chesuncook, 1853. 

Platanthera psycodes (small purple-fringed orchis), very common. 
East Branch and Chesuncook, 1853. 

Platanthera Jimbriata (large purple-fringed orchis), very common. 
West Branch and Umbazookskus, 1857. 

Platanthera orbiculata (large rouud-leaved orchis), very common 
in woods, Moosehead and Chamberlain carries, Caucomgomoc, &c 

Aniphicarpcea monocea (hog peanut). 

Aralia racemosa (spikenard), common, Moosehead carry, Telo< 
Lake, &c., and af'er; out about August 1, 1857. 

Plantago major (common plantain), common in open land ai 
Bmith's in 1 853. 

AI'l'ENDIX. 819 

Pontederia cordata* (pickerel-wecd), oily near Oldtowu, 1857. 

PotaiiKXjeton (pond-weed), not, common. 

Poletitillu tndentuta (mountain cinqucfoil), Klnco. 

Poletitilla Norvi-ijica (cinqucfoil), Ilcron Lake shore and Smith's. 

Polygonum ainphibium (water-pcisicaria), var. aquaticum, Second 

Polyijonum Persicaria (lady's-thumb), log-path Chesuncook, IS53. 

Nuphar adcena (yellow pond-lily), not abundant. 

Nymphica odoraia (sweet water-lily), a few in West Branch, 1953. 

Polygonvm hi/dropiper (smart-weed), log-path, Chesuncook. 

Pyrola secundu Cone-sided pyrola), very common, Caucomgomoc. 

Pyrola cUiptica (shm-Icaf), Caucomgomoc Kiver. 

Ranunculus Flammula (spearwort, var. reptans). 

Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot), Umbazookskus land- 
ing, &c. 

Typha lailfoUa* (common cat-tail or reed-mace), extremely 
abundant between Bangor and Portland. 

Sankula Marijlandica (black snake-root), Moosehead carry and 

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla). 

Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's-purse). Smith's, 1853. 

Prunella vulgaris (self-heal), very common everywhere. 

Erechthites hieracifoUa (fireweed), 1857, and Smith's open land, 

Sarracenia purpurea (pitcher-plant), Mud Pond swamp. 

Smilacina bifdia (false Solomon's-seal), 1857, and Chesuncook 
woods, 1853. 

Smilacina racemosa (false spikenard?), Umbazookskus carry 
(July 27, 1853). 

Veronica scutellata (marsh speedwell). 

Spergula arrensis (corn spurrey), 1857, not uncommon, 1853, 
Moosehead and Smith's. 

Fragaria (strawberry), 1853 Smith's, 1857 Bucksport. 
Thalictrum Cornw^i (meadow-rue), very common, especially along 
rivers, tall, and conspicuously in bloom in July, 1857. 

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle), abundant at camps and high- 
iray sides in the north of Maine. 

Cirsium mUicum (swamp-thistle), well in bloom Webster Stream, 
AuKiist 31. 


Rumex acetoseOa (sheep-sorrel), common by river and log paths, 
as Chesuncook log-path. 

Impatiens fulva (spotted toach-me-not). 

Trillium erythrocarpum (painted trilliam), common West Branch 
and Moosehead carry. 

Verbena Itastata (blue vervain). 

Clematis Virginiana (common virgin's-bower), common on river 
banks, feathered in September, 1853, in bloom July, 1857. 

Leuoanthemum vulgare (white-weed). 

Slum lineare (water-parsnip), 1857, and Chesuncook shore, 1853. 

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow), by river and log-paths, 
and Smith's. 

Desmodium Canadense (Canadian tick-trefoil), not uncommon. 

Oxalis acetosella (common wood-sorrel), still out July 25, 1853, 
at Moosehead carry and after. ' 

Oxalis striata (yellow wood-sorrel), 1853, at Smith's and his wood- 

Liparis liliifolia (tway-blade), Kineo, Bradford, 

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort), woods, commou. 

Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort), Chesuncook woods, 

In all, 145. 

4. Of Loweb Obdeb. 

Scirpus Eriophorum (wool-grass), very common, especially on 
low islands. A coarse grass, four or five feet high, along the river. 

Phleum pratense (herd's-grass), on carries, at camps and clearings. 

Equisetum sylvaticum (sylvatic horse-tail). 

Pteris aquilina (brake), Kineo and after. 

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive-fern), very common along the riT«l 
lides ; some on the gravelly shore of Heron Lake Island. 

Polypodium Dryopteris (brittle polypody). 

Woodsia Ilvensis (rusty Woodsia), Kineo. 

Lycopodium lucidulum (toothed club-moss). 

U$nea (a parmeliaceoas lichen), common on rarions trees. 



WHICH I SAW iM Maine between Jult 24 and AirausT 
3, 1857. 

A very small hawk at Great Falls, on 'Webster Stream 

Halicetus leucocephalus (white-headed or bald-eagle), at RagmufF, 
tnd above and below Hunt's, and on pond below Mattawamkeag. 

Pandion haliatus ^fish-hawk or osprey). heard, also seen on East 

Bubo Virginianus (cat-owl), near Camp Island, also above mouth 
of Sclioonis, from a stump back and forth, also near Hunt's on 
a tree. 

Icterus phamiceus (red-winged blackbird), Umbazookskns River. 

Corvus Americanus (American crow), a few, as at outlet of Grand 
Lake ; a peculiar cawing. 

Fringilla Canadensis (tree-sparrow), think I saw one on Mount 
Kineo July 24, which behaved as if it had a nest there. 

Garrulus cristatus (blue-jay). 

Partis atricapillus (chicadee), a few. 

Muscicapa tyrannus (king-bird). 

Muscicapa Cooperii (olive-sided fly-catcher), everywhere a pre- 
vailing bird. 

Muscicapa virens (wood pewee), Moosehead, and I think bo- 

Muscicapa ruticilla (American redstart), Moosehead. 

Vireo olivaceus (red-eyed vireo), everywhere common. 

Turdus migratorius (red-breasted robin), some everywhere. 

Tardus melodus (wood-thrush), common in all the woods. 

Turdus Wilsonii (Wilson's thrush), Moosehead and beyond. 

Turdus aurocapillus (golden-crowned thrush or oven-bird), Moose- 

Fringilla albicollis (white-throated sparrow), Kineo and after, ap 
parently nesting; the prevailing bird early and late. 

Fringilla melodia (song-sparrow), at Moosehead or beyond. 

Sylvia, pinus (pine warbler), one part of voyage. 

Muscicapa acadica (small pewee,, common. 

Trichas Marylandica (Murvland yellow-throat), everywhere. 

Cocc}r:ua Americanus^ (yellow-billed cuckoo), common. 
14* U 


Picus erythrocephalus (red-headed woodpecker), heard and saw, 
End good to eat. 

Sitta CaroUnensis ? (white-breasted American nathatch), heard. 

Alcedo alcyon (belted kingfisher), very common. 

Caprimulgus Americanus (night-hawk). 

Tetrao umbellus (partridge), Moosehead carry, &c. 

Tetrao cupido? (pinnated grouse), Webster Stream. 

Ardea coarulea (blue heron), lower part of Penobscot. 

Totanus macularius (spotted sandpiper or peetweet), everywhere. 

Lams argentatus ? (herring-gull), Heron Lake on rocks, and 
Chamberlain. Smaller gull on Second Lake. 

Anas obscura (dusky or black duck), once in East Branch. 

Anas sponsa (summer or wood duck), everywhere. 

FuUgida albicola (spirit duck or dipper), common. 

Colymbus glacialis (great Northern diver or loon), in all the lakes. 
A swallow ; the night-warbler ? once or twice. 

Mergus Merganser (buff-breasted merganser or sheldrake), com- 
mon on lakes and rivers. 


A bat on West Branch; beaver skull at Grand Lake; Mr. 
Thatcher ate beaver with moose on the Caucomgomoc. A mnsk- 
rat on the last stream ; the red squirrel is common in the depths 
of the woods; a dead porcupine on Chamberlain road; a cow 
moose and tracks of calf; skin of a bear, just killed. 


The following will be a good outfit for one who wishes to make 
•n excursion of twelve days into the Maine woods in July, with a 
companion, and one Indian for the same purposes that I did. 

Wear, — a check shirt, stout old shoes, thick socks, a neck rib- 
bon, thick waistcoat, thick pants, old Kossuth hat, a linen sack 

Carry, — in an India-rubber kn»»psack, with a large flap, twc 


ihirts (check), one pair thick socks, one pair drawers, one flannel 
Bhirt, two pockct-Iiandkerchiefs, a light India-rubber coat or a tliick 
woollen one, two bosoms and collars to go and come with, one 
napkin, pins, needles, thread, one blanket, best gray, seven feet 

Tertt, — si.K by seven feet, and four feet high in middle, will do; 
veil and gloves and insect-wash, or, better, mosquito-bars to cover 
all at night; best pocket-map, and perhaps description of the route ; 
compass; plant-book and red blotting-paper; paper and stamps, 
botany, small pocket spy-gla.«s for birds, pocket microscope, tape- 
measure, insect-boxes. 

Axe, full size if possible, jackknife, fish-lines, two only apiece, 
with a few hooks and corks ready, and with pork for bait in a 
packet, rigged ; matches (some also in a small vial in the waist- 
coat pocket); soap, two pieces; large knife and iron spoon (for 
all) ; three or four old newspapers, much twine, and several rags 
for dishcloths ; twenty feet of strong cord, four-quart tin pail for 
kettle, two tin dippers, three tin plates, a fry-pan. 

Provisions. — Soft hardbread, twenty-eight pounds ; pork, six- 
teen pounds ; sugar, twelve pounds ; one pound black tea or three 
pounds coffee, one box or a pint of salt, one quart Indian meal, to 
fry fish in ; six lemons, good to correct the pork and warm water; 
perhaps two or three pounds of rice, for variety. You will prob- 
ably get some berries, fish, &c., beside. 

A gun is not worth the carriage, unless you go as hunters. The 
pork should be in an open keg, sawed to fit; the sugar, tea or cof- 
fee, meal, salt, &c., should be put in separate water-tight India- 
rubber bags, tied with a leather string; and all the provisions, and 
part of the rest of the baggage, put into two large India-rubber 
bags, which have been proved to be water-tight and durable. Ex- 
pense of preceding outfit is twenty-four dollars. 

An Indian may be hired for about one dollar and fifty cents per 
(Jay, and perhaps fifty cents a week for his canoe (this depends on 
the demand). The canoe should be a strong and tight one. This 
expense will be nineteen dollars. 

Such an excursion need not cost more than twenty-five dollars 
Apiece, starting at the foot of Moosehead, if you already possess 
or can borrow a reasonable part of the outfit. If yon take an In- 
dian and canoe at Oldtown, it will cost seven or e'lglit dollars more 
Jo transport them to the lake. 




1. Kutadn, said to mean Highest Land, Rale puts for Mt Pem» 
iene; for Grai, pierre a aiguiser, Kitadaiigan. (v. Potter.) 

Mattawamkeag, place where two rivers meet. (Indian af carry.) 
(v. Williamson's History of Maine, and Willis.) 


Ebeeme, rock. 

Noliseemack ; other name, Shad Pond. 

Kecunnilessu, chicadee. 

Nipsquecohossus, woodcock. 

Skuscumonsit/c, kingfisher. Has it not the pL termination 
uk here, or sitk ? 

Wassus, bear, aouessous. Rale. 

Lunxus, Indian-devil. 

Upahsis, mountain-ash. 

Moose, (is it called, or does it mean, wood-eater?) mous. Rale. 

Katahdinauguoh, said to mean mountains about Ktaadn. 

Ebemena, tree-cranberry. Ibibimin, nar, red, bad fruit. } j 
Rale. ) 

Wighiggin, a bill or writing, aouixigan, " Litre, lettre, I ^°*|.''' 
peinture, ceinture." Rale. ' carry. 

Sehamook, Large-bay Lake, Peqouasebem ; add ar for plu- ) 
ral, lac or ^tang. Rale. Ouaiirinaiigamek, anse dans un > ^l^ 
lac. Rale. Mspavie, large water. Polls. J 

Sebago and Sebec, large open water. 

Chesuncook, place where many streams empty in. (v. ") «5 
Willis and Potter.) I j- 

Caucomgomoc, Gull Lake. {Caucomgomoc, the lake; cau- \ I 
aamgomoc-took, the river, Folis.) j S 


Kenduskieg, Little Eel River, (v. Willis.) Nlcholtl 

Penobscot, Rocky River. Puapeskou, stone. (Ralo v. I '^°'^'" 
Springer.) ' ca^ 

Umbazookskus, meadow stream. (Much-meadow river, ' 
Millinocket, place of Islands. 
Soutieunk, that runs between Mountains. 
JLboljacarmegus, Smooth-ledge Falls and Dead-water. 




Ahdjacarmefpiscook, the river there. 

Muskiticook, Dead Stream. (Indian of cairy.) Meskikou, oi 
Meskikouikou, a place where there is grass. (Hale.) Musk€eticook^ 
Dead water. (Polls.) 

Mattahumkeag, Sand-creek Pond. ) Nicho- 

Piscataquis, branch of a river. ) ***' 

Shecorways, sheldrakes. j 

Naramekechus, peetweet. > PoU» 

Medawisla, loon. J 

Orignal, Moosehead Lake. (Montresor.) 

Chor-chor-que, usnea. 

Adelungquamooktum, wood-thrush. 

Bematruichtik, high land generally. {Mt. Pemaden€, 

Maquoxigil, bark of red osier, Indian tobacco. 

Kineo, flint (Williamson; old Indian hunter). (Hodge.) 

Artoosoqu', phosphorescence. 

Subekoondark, white spruce. 

Skusk, black spruce. 

Beskabekuk, the " Lobster Lake " of maps. 

Beskabekuk shishtook, the dead water below the island. 

Paylaytequick, Burnt-Ground Stream, what Joe called 

Nonlangyis, the name of a dead-water between the last 
and Pine Stream, 

Karsaootuk, Black River (or Pine Stream). Mkazeou- 
ighen, black. Rale. 

Michigan, Jimus. Polis applied it to a sucker, or a poor, 
good-for-nothing fish. Fiante (?) mitsegan, Rale. (Picker- 
ing puts the ? after the first word.) 

Cbwosnebagosar, Chiogenes hispidula, means, grows where 
irces have rotted. 

Pockadunkquaywayle, echo. Pagadaiikoueou^rr^. Rale. 

Bororquasis, moose-fly. 

Nerlumskeechtcook (or quoikf), (or skeetcook), Dead water, 
and applied to the mountains near. 

Apmoojeitegamook, lake that is crossed. 
Allegash, hemlock-bark. (v. Willis.) 
Paytaywecongomec , Burnt-Ground Lake, Tdos. 





Madunkehunk, Height-of-land Stream (Webster Stream j. 

Madunkehunk-yamooc, Height-of-land Lake. 

Matunyamooc, Grand Lake. 

Uncardnerheese, Trout Stream. 

Wassataquoik (or -cook), Salmon River, East Branch, 
(v. Willis.) 

Pemoymenuk, Amelanchier berries, " Pemouaimin, nak, 
B black fruit Rale " Has it not hero the plural end- 
ing ? 

Sheepnoc, Lilium Canadense bulbs. " Sipen, nak, white, 
larger than penak." Rale. 

Paytgumkiss, Petticoat (where a small river comes into 
the Penobscot below Nickatow). 

Burnt ibus, a lake-like reach in the Penobscot. 

Passadumkeag, "where the water falls into the Penobscot above 
the falls." (Williamson.) Paiisidaiikioui is, au dessus de la mon- 
tagne. Rale. 

Olarmon, or larmon, (Polls) red paint. " Vermilion, paint, 
Ourainaii." Rale. 

Sunkhaze, " See canoe come out; ho, see 'em stream." (Polis.) 
The month of a river, according to Rale, is Saughed€tegoue. The 
place where one stream empties into another, thus <5 , is suuktaUoui. 
(v. Willis.) 

TbmAe^an Br. (at Moosehead). " Hatchet, temahigan." Rale. 

Nickatow, " Nicketaoutegue, or Nikeloutegoue, riviere qui fourche.' 

2. From William Willis, on the Language of the Abnaqaiea 
Maine Hist. Coll., Vol. IV. 

Abalajako-megus (river near Ktaadn). 

Aitteon (name of a pond and sachem). 

Apmogenegamook (name of a lake). 

Allagash (a bark camp). Sockbasin, a Penobscot, told him, 
'• The Indians gave this name to the lake from the fact of thei/ 
keeping a hunting-camp there." 

Bamonewengamock, head of Allagash, Cross Lake. (Sock 

Che$uncook, Big Lake. (Sockbasin.) 


Caucongamock (a lake). 

Ehreme, mountains that have plums on them. (Sockbasin.) 

Ktaudn. SoL'kl)asin pronounces this Iva-tah-din, and said it 
JBcant " large mountain or lar<;e thing." 

Kenduskeng (the place of Eels). 

Ki'ieo (flint), mountain on the border, &c. 

Metawainkeag, a river with a smooth gravellj bottom. (Sock 


MiUinoket, a lake with many islands in it. (Sockbasin.) 

Matakeunk (river). 

Molunkns (river). 

Nicketoic, Neccotoh, where two streams meet (" Forks of the 

Negas (Indian village on the Kcnduskeag). 

On'gnal (Montresor's name for Moosehead Lake). 

Poruiuongamook, Allagash, name of a Mohawk Indian killed 
there. (Sockbasin.) 

Penobscot, Penobskeag, French Pentagoet, &c. 

Pougohwaken (Heron Lake). 

Pemadumcook (lake). 

Passadumkeag, where water goes into the riyer above falls. 

Ripogenus (river) 

Sunkhaze (river), Dead water. 


Seboomook. Sockbasin says this word means " the shape ot a 
Moose's head, and was given to the lake," &c. Eoward saya 

Seboois, a brook, a small river. (Sockbasin.) 

iSsfcec (river). 

Sebago (great water). 

Telos (lake). 

Telasiuis (lake). 

Uinbagog (lake), doubled np; so called from its fcrm.' (Sock* 

Umbazookshis (lake). 

Wassaiiquoik, a mountain river. (Sockbasin.) 



Judge C. E. Potter of Manchester, New Hampshire, adds in 
November, 1855 : — 

" Chesuncook. This is formed from Chesunk, or Schunk (a goose), 
and Auke (a place), and means ' The Goose Place.' Chesunk, or 
Schunk, is the sound made by the wild geese when flying." 

Ktaadn. This is doubtless a corruption of Kees (high), and 
Auke (a place). 

Penobscot, Penapse (stone, rock-place), and Auke (place). 

Suncook, Goose-place, Schunk-auke. 

The Judge says that school means to rush, and hence schoodie 
from this and auke (a place where water rushes), and that sclioon 
means the same ; and that the Marblehead people and others have 
derived the words scoon and scoot from the Indians, and heaoe 
Khooner; refers to a Mr. Chute. 




Thoreau, Henry David 
The Maine woods